Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about vaccinations

Students who have been admitted to Binghamton University for the spring 2022 semester must submit proof of a completed vaccine series or a request for consideration for medical, religious or remote exemption by Dec. 15, 2021. It is highly recommended that students submit their proof or an exemption request as soon as possible to avoid delays in receiving access to registering for classes and on-campus housing. Students should also be aware that the review of exemptions can take several days, and in the event their exemption request is denied, they could be faced with limited options to meet the Jan. 4 vaccination compliance deadline.

For the purposes of this guidance, individuals are considered:

  • fully vaccinated if they have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series AND the 14-day waiting period. 
  • not vaccinated if they have not completed any shots, have completed one of two shots in a vaccination series, have completed a vaccination series but not the 14-day waiting period, or have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not WHO-approved. 

In addition, as announced on Jan. 3, 2022, all students, whether they reside on or off campus, must have a vaccine booster to be able to live on campus and/or attend classes. See "Are students required to have a booster to be able to attend Binghamton University?" below for details.

  • Are students required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Binghamton University? (Updated Jan. 3, 2022)

    Yes. According to SUNY policy, students who plan to attend in-person classes and/or utilize in-person services at a SUNY facility must provide evidence of receiving the full vaccination series (i.e., both doses of a two-dose series) of any WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine or successfully apply for and receive a medical, religious or remote exemption. Students must provide such evidence prior to coming to campus and show that the vaccine was received at least two weeks prior to arriving on a SUNY campus for any reason.

    This requirement applies to you if you are enrolled in at least one in-person class or visit campus for any reason, including to conduct research, work on campus, participate in athletic practices, or visit the library, academic buildings or other campus facilities. Students will not be allowed to register for classes until the requirement has been met.

    The process for requesting a medical, religious or remote exemption opened on Nov. 15 and closed Dec. 15. 

  • Are students required to have a booster to be able to attend Binghamton University? (Updated Jan. 3, 2022)

    As announced Jan. 3, all students, whether they reside on or off campus, are required to have a vaccine booster to be allowed to move into their residence hall and/or to attend classes. This new requirement has been implemented in response to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

    All students who are eligible to receive one will be required to have a booster shot by Jan. 20, or within 30 days of becoming eligible for a booster if that date falls after Jan. 20. Students with a previous University-approved medical or religious exemption will not need to get a booster; however, they will have to follow the existing weekly testing protocols and University guidelines. Students already vaccinated are not eligible to apply for a medical or religious exemption to the booster requirement, with the sole exception being an individual who has had a change in medical condition that contraindicates further vaccination doses. 

  • How can I request a copy of my COVID-19 vaccine card, proof of booster or immunization record from DSHSC?

    You can access this information by signing into the DSHSC patient portal

    To view your COVID-19 vaccination card/proof of booster:

    1. Go to https://binghamton.medicatconnect.com/
    2. Indicate you are from Binghamton University.
    3. Sign in using your PODS username and password.
    4. Go to the UPLOADS tab.  
    5. Scroll down to the "Documents already on file" section.
    6. Click "view file" of the appropriate document.
    7. Print.

    To view your immunization record, click on "Immunizations," then "View History."

  • Where can I get vaccinated or receive a booster shot locally? (Updated Jan. 3, 2022)

    To find a COVID-19 vaccination site near you, visit vaccines.gov where you can enter your zip code and you will be provided a list of all local vaccine sites.

    In New York state, you can get your booster at various state-run COVID-19 vaccine sites. 

    Here are some additional options for making appointments:

    • Weis Markets has clinics offering COVID-19 vaccines. Visit its website to find a location and schedule an appointment. 
    • UHS, directly across the street from the Vestal campus: Visit its website to find a location and schedule an appointment.
    • CVS: There are multiple sites near campus that offer on-demand COVID-19 vaccines. Visit its webite to find CVS vaccine sites near you and to schedule an appointment.
    • Walgreens: There are multiple sites near campus that offer on-demand COVID-19 vaccines. Visit its website to find a site near you and schedule an appointment. 
    • Walmart at 2405 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, with bus routes available from campus: Visit its website to create an account and schedule an appointment.   
    • Broome County Health Department at 225 Front St., Binghamton, offers vaccine clinics and will even come to your group of 10 or more to deliver vaccines: Visit its website to schedule an appointment.
  • Will there be any booster clinics on campus? (New Jan. 17, 2022)

    The University is holding booster clinics for students who are not able to secure the booster shot prior to arriving to campus. A limited number of Pfizer and Moderna boosters are available on an appointment-only basis. The appointments must be scheduled at the links below. It is unlikely that we will be able to offer enough boosters for every student who wants one.

    Residential students who are able to sign up for a booster appointment at the on-campus clinic will need to schedule a move-in date/time that corresponds with their booster appointment. Students who attempt to sign up for a move-in time that corresponds with their booster shot time but are unable to should email reslife@binghamton.edu a copy of their booster appointment confirmation.

    Boosters will be offered at the on-campus booster clinics in UU-111 at the following dates/times:

    For residential students:

    For off-campus students:

  • What do I do if I've lost or don't have my vaccination record card? (New Jan. 3, 2022)

    At your first vaccination appointment, you should get a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it. If you did not receive a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.

    If you have lost your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card or don’t have a copy, contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record.

    • If you cannot contact your vaccination provider site directly, contact your state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems.
    • If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText after your first vaccine dose, you can access your vaccination information using those tools.
    • If you have made every effort to locate your vaccination information, are unable to get a copy or replacement of your vaccination card, and need another COVID-19 vaccine dose, talk to a vaccination provider or your primary care provider for assistance.

    See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more. 

  • I had COVID-19 within the past 90 days. Can I get vaccinated or get the booster? (Updated Jan. 3, 2022)

    Current CDC guidelines state that individuals should receive a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of whether they have had COVID-19 because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. 

    Therefore, students are eligible to get their vaccine/booster as soon as they are out of isolation and acute symptoms have resolved. Acute symptoms are fever/chills, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion/runny nose, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea. The following reasons will not be accepted as reasons to avoid a vaccine/booster:

    • having had COVID with the past 90 days
    • having a blood test that is positive for SARA-CoV-2 antibodies
    • "long-haul" COVID-19
    • persistent headache
    • persistent muscle/joint aches
    • persistent fatigue
    • inability to taste
    • inability to smell
  • Do I need to upload my positive test results if the positive test was administered on campus? (New Jan. 13, 2022)

    No. Students do NOT need to upload proof of a positive COVID test to the Decker student health portal if the test was administered on campus at the Surveillance Testing Center, Decker Student Health Services Center or the Satellite Diagnostic Testing Site at the walk-up window between the Union and the Engineering Building.

  • Can a student receive an exemption from being vaccinated?

    Students could apply for a medical, religious or remote exemption by uploading their request to the student health portal by Dec. 15, 2021. Students were notified of the approval or denial of a medical exemption request via the Secure Messaging function of the student health portal. Approval or denial of remote and religious exemption requests was likewise communicated to students through electronic University messaging.

    Students may have also received a request for more information from the University before the decision could be finalized. All decisions are final; there is no appeal process.

  • What are my obligations if I am exempted from vaccination?

    Students who are granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are subject to special obligations to enable them to remain on campus. Such students are required to:

    1. Provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within the past five days OR submit an attestation to the campus that they have quarantined off campus for at least 10 days prior to arriving on campus or using campus facilities. Students are responsible for arranging their own quarantine accommodations.
    2. Comply with mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing at least once a week at the on-campus Surveillance Testing Center.
    3. Wear a mask at all times when indoors except:
      • when in their private residential or personal space; 
      • when eating meals on campus while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced; and
      • when they are alone.     
  • How does being exempt from the vaccination requirement impact my housing assignment?

    In order to avoid placing a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated students in the same living space while also allowing students the opportunity to choose to live together, individuals with an approved exemption have two options for choosing housing:

    Option 1: Sign up to live with students who are vaccinated with agreement from all students sharing the living space.

    • Choose your room during your room selection timeslot.
    • Once a room has been selected, the unvaccinated student must obtain agreement from all other individuals living in the selected room/suite/apartment. The University cannot and will not disclose a student’s vaccination status to their roommates. The unvaccinated, exempt student is responsible for disclosing their vaccination exemption status to others in their room/suite/apartment.
    • All parties must submit the Spring 2022 Unvaccinated/Vaccinated Roommate Agreement indicating their agreement to live with the unvaccinated student. All forms must be received within three business days of the time the student selects their room.
    • If anyone within the room/suite/apartment does not agree to living with an unvaccinated student, the exempt student will be reassigned to a space with other exempt students.
    • Exempt students reassigned to a different residential community and/or room type will be charged the lower of the two housing rates between the two assignments.

    Option 2: Sign up to live exclusively with other exempt students.

  • Do I have to be fully compliant to participate in spring room selection?

    Yes. In order to be eligible to select a room during the room selection process, students must have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series or have received an exemption by the Dec. 15, 2021, deadline. Students who apply for an exemption by the deadline will be sent a timeslot for room selection but will not be able to select their room until their exemption is approved. Students who are admitted after Dec. 15 must be fully compliant by Jan. 4 to be eligible to select a room before the portal closes on Jan. 10.

  • Can I live in on-campus housing if I am unvaccinated or have not had a booster, and am not exempted? (Updated Jan. 3, 2022)

    No. Per SUNY policy, students must provide evidence of receiving the full vaccination series (i.e., both doses of a two-dose series) of any WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine or successfully apply for and receive a medical or religious exemption, and provide evidence prior to coming to campus that such vaccine was received at least two weeks prior to arriving on a SUNY campus for any reason, including moving into a residence hall.

    Binghamton University requires that all students be compliant by Jan. 4, 2022, in order to maintain their registration. Students who have their registration dropped for non-compliance and are therefore not registered for the spring 2022 semester will not be permitted to move into the residence halls and their housing will be canceled.

    Additionally, as announced Jan. 3, all students who are eligible to receive one will be required to have a booster shot by Jan. 20, or within 30 days of becoming eligible for a booster if that date falls after Jan. 20. Students with a previous University-approved medical or religious exemption will not need to get a booster; however, they will have to follow the existing weekly testing protocols and University guidelines. Students already vaccinated are not eligible to apply for a medical or religious exemption to the booster requirement, with the sole exception being an individual who has had a change in medical condition that contraindicates further vaccination doses. 

    Residence hall occupancy will be rescinded for students who do not receive a booster shot within 30 days of becoming eligible for one.

  • What are the surveillance testing requirements for students who are exempted?

    Binghamton University is requiring all individuals who are not fully vaccinated to undergo weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing at the University Surveillance Testing Center. Below is information specific to students subject to the surveillance testing requirement. Students should pay close attention to the consequences for missing a required test as explained below. COVID-19 testing requirements will be strictly enforced.

    1. Students who are not fully vaccinated and students who have or may obtain medical/religious exemptions from the vaccination requirement must be tested for COVID-19 weekly at the Surveillance Testing Center in the University Union. 
    2. Each week a message with a link to make an appointment will be sent to all those subject to such testing. Testing is by appointment only and walk-in testing is not available. It is your responsibility to make an appointment and to arrive for testing at the time of your appointment.
      • Students are expected to be tested on campus every week they have a physical presence on campus. In the event they are going to be off campus for the majority of any given week, they must notify the Surveillance Testing Center in advance and receive approval for not getting tested that week.
    3. Students who are not tested as required will face the following consequences:
      • First missed test: A warning message from the Surveillance Testing Center.
      • Second missed test: Students who miss a test after receiving a warning message will have a HOLD placed on their registration; however, the impact of the HOLD on the student’s registration will be held in abeyance unless the student misses another test in the same semester.
      • Third missed test: Students who miss a third required COVID-19 test in the same semester will have the registration HOLD activated and will be dropped from their courses. Students not enrolled are also not eligible to live in campus residence halls.
    4. Students who are dropped from their classes as a result of this policy will have one opportunity to appeal their removal from courses. The ONLY basis for such appeal will be that the University testing records are inaccurate and the student has not missed three tests. The University will not otherwise reconsider the imposition of this policy upon a student who has missed three tests in the same semester.
    5. Students who are under quarantine order are not required to break quarantine to be tested; however, it is any such student’s responsibility to request an exemption from weekly testing when they are under quarantine order by using this link: https://cglink.me/2eQ/s52397. Copies of quarantine orders will be required.
    6. Students may not use a home test to satisfy the requirement for weekly COVID-19 testing.
    7. Students who begin the semester unvaccinated but who become fully vaccinated during the semester are subject to the weekly testing requirement and associated penalties for non-compliance until the date upon which they are fully vaccinated (14 days after last shot).
  • How long does it take to be considered fully vaccinated? (Updated Jan. 3, 2022)

    It depends on the vaccine, but generally speaking:

    • Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 14 days after receiving your dose
    • Pfizer-BioNTech: around 35 days after receiving your first dose (assuming the second dose is 21 days after your first dose, plus the 14 days after receiving your second dose)
    • Moderna: around 42 days after receiving your first dose (assuming your second dose is  28 days after your first dose, plus the 14 days after receiving your second dose)

    Timing is critical. Residential students cannot move onto campus and no student, whether living on or off campus, can begin classes unless they are fully vaccinated.

    Specifically for those who are receiving the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the final doses must be received on this schedule:

    • Moderna: first dose no later than Dec. 6 and second dose no later than Jan. 4
    • Pfizer: first dose no later than Dec. 13 and second dose no later than Jan. 4
    • Johnson & Johnson: single dose no later than Jan. 4
  • What should I do if I received a COVID vaccine but the dosing intervals are outside of what is recommended (the second dose was given too early or too late)?

    While this is not an ideal situation, the CDC guidance states that you do not need to repeat any vaccine doses or start the series over. You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose is received. See Appendix A on this CDC webpage

  • I received a “mixed series” of COVID-19 vaccines (the vaccine type for my first dose is different than the vaccine type I received for the second dose.) What should I do?

    If the mixed series was of the Pfizer and Moderna types, and the doses were more than 28 days apart, then you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose was given.

International students

On Oct. 25, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order limiting entry into the United States for non-U.S. citizens who are seeking to enter the United States by air travel and who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, individuals must have received an accepted COVID-19 vaccine, with limited exceptions.

For the purposes of this guidance, individuals are considered:

  • fully vaccinated if they have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series AND the 14-day waiting period. 
  • not vaccinated if they have not completed any shots, have completed one of two shots in a vaccination series, have completed a vaccination series but not the 14-day waiting period, or have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not WHO-approved.