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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Important Information on Vaccination

May 12, 2021

Dear Students and Employees:

Student vaccination requirement
On Monday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state will require students at all State University of New York and City University of New York campuses to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend in-person classes this fall. This requirement is contingent on one or more of the vaccines receiving full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The SUNY Board of Trustees will now take steps to adopt a vaccination policy, which would take effect once vaccines receive full FDA approval. We anticipate that this would be incorporated into Fall 2021 reopening plans, in line with the longstanding New York State health requirements for attendance. With this policy, SUNY and CUNY would join 22 private colleges and universities across the state that have already announced a requirement. 

At this time, the requirement has not yet been extended to employees. We do not have any information yet about whether the final SUNY policy will include exemptions, such as the existing limited exemptions for the state measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine requirement for students. 

The bottom line
In the meantime, not much has changed: SUNY continues to strongly encourage all students and employees to get immunized to protect our campus communities from COVID-19. And we know that the vast majority of you are already stepping up, as 78 percent of SUNY Potsdam students coming to campus for testing report that they have already received at least one dose of the vaccine. This is an incredible achievement, and we are so proud of you for protecting yourselves and each other!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and critical to helping us get back to normal. Fully vaccinated individuals can start taking part in many activities they had stopped due to the pandemic—including not wearing masks outdoors on SUNY campuses, as long as you aren't in a crowded setting.

You can find lots of information from our SUNY scientists and experts at

Eligibility & availability 
Anyone age 12 and older is now eligible to receive the vaccine in New York State—including residents of other states. Only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use in individuals between the ages of 12 and 17. The Moderna and one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for people age 18 and older.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeve, here’s how: 

For students, the Bear Shuttle offers free service directly to or near all of these pharmacy locations in Potsdam, seven days a week, and you can also connect to the Roo Shuttle at Walmart to get to Canton as well, through the end of the semester.

We will continue to update campus as we have more information.