Dear Members of the Campus Community,

I am writing to remind you that all University faculty, students, and staff must be up-to-date as defined by the CDC as of Tuesday, November 1, 2022—meaning individuals must receive the updated (bivalent) booster if it has been 2 months or longer since their last COVID-19 vaccine, or 90 days after recovering from a COVID-19 infection. The same standards apply to campus visitors, guest speakers, and visiting athletic teams.

Individuals may request medical or personal religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate: faculty and staff should email Human Resources at Students may request an exemption by emailing the completed Exemption Form to [email protected]. The deadline to submit a request for an exemption for the November 1 deadline is Friday, October 28, 2022. Requests for an exemption from the Bivalent Booster do not need to be notarized. The deadline for students enrolling in Spring 2023 classes is Friday, January 6, 2023.

After the November 1 deadline, the University will be contacting any individuals who have neither provided the appropriate documentation demonstrating they are up-to-date with the vaccine, nor have received an exemption, to confirm their compliance. Individuals who continue to remain non-compliant will ultimately have their access to campus restricted.

Being up-to-date on the vaccine is particularly important because of an increase in COVID-19 infections in the UK and Europe, including the new BQ.1.1 subvariant. Public health officials believe that the infection spike in the UK and Europe presage a fall/winter  wave of infections in the U.S.

Being a community that is up-to-date on vaccinations has allowed Fordham to operate largely without masking and social distancing requirements. There is an abundant body of evidence that boosters reduce the transmission of the virus. The pandemic’s lethality has been blunted because of widespread vaccination for COVID-19, but COVID-19 remains a public health threat which still has the capacity to shut down our campuses.

While being up-to-date on vaccinations is important for everyone, it is critical for people living in group settings such as University housing. The Fordham community is composed of people of all ages, and there are many faculty, staff, and students who are vulnerable for factors seen and unseen.

The University has the new updated bivalent vaccines in stock and will administer them free of charge. Individuals can walk in for vaccines at the times and locations listed on the Testing and Vaccine Resources Page. (The updated bivalent vaccines are also available in the New York City area.) Individuals who received their vaccinations off campus should upload proof of vaccination to VitalCheck by clicking on the link text “Has your vaccination status recently changed?” on the daily VitalCheck email/text message.

COVID-19 and flu vaccines both reduce illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. As flu season approaches and COVID-19 vaccine recommendations are updated, individuals should consider receiving both vaccinations at the same time if they are eligible and the timing is appropriate. The immune response and possible side effects are generally the same whether individuals receive one vaccine at a time or two, according to the CDC.

Employees with questions about Fordham’s COVID-19 policies should email; students and parents with questions should email [email protected].

As always, our policies and protocols are subject to change, based on conditions on and off campus, and any new federal, state, or local regulations.

Finally, please accept my profound thanks, and that of the University administration, to those of you who are staying up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. By doing so you are saving lives and helping to keep the members of the Fordham community healthy and safe. Your willingness to get vaccinated is cura personalis in action, and it is deeply appreciated.

Marco Valera
Vice President for Administration & COVID-19 Coordinator