Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved the Pfizer vaccine, it was announced that all students attending in-person classes at SUNY (State University of New York) must be vaccinated for COVID-19. This includes both two-year and four-year institutions.

The new announcement comes with a thirty-five-day grace period to allow those students who need to get the vaccine time to provide proof. The time also allows those who wish to file a request for medical and religious exemptions for review by each campus according to Spectrum News. Even though it is not mandatory for faculty and staff to be vaccinated it is strongly encouraged.

There are sixty-four SUNY schools across New York State which includes community colleges or two-year schools and twenty-four four-year colleges. That means Hudson Valley Community College and the University at Albany students taking in-person classes. According to a statement on the SUNY website:

SUNY continues to follow the latest science and data to develop policies that prioritize our students’ health and well-being. Mandatory vaccination, at this point, will allow our campuses to reopen normally this fall, as well as protect our neighbors and help local communities reopen safely.

Mandatory vaccination is a huge undertaking in the network of SUNY schools across New York State. The University at Albany is one of the larger SUNY schools. Undergraduate enrollment is approximately thirteen thousand three hundred students. Ninety-two percent of freshmen or first-year students live on campus.