I have a positive Covid antibody test from already being infected. Do I still need the vaccine?
The short answer is yes. A previous infection does not exempt an individual from SU’s vaccine requirement. Antibodies are not recommended to be used as evidence of immunity by the CDC or the FDA. All students must have an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine (unless they have been granted a medical or religious exemption). People who have had a Covid infection may well have circulating antibodies that can be detected by a serological (antibody) test. That said, there are some difficulties interpreting the presence of antibodies regarding the level of protection they may provide.
Evidence demonstrates that most people who receive a Covid vaccine develop a greater number (higher titer) of antibodies than those who have had the disease and are therefore more protected, and less likely to pass an infection onto others. The FDA and CDC therefore recommend that even recovering Covid patients be vaccinated.
Antibodies that can be detected in a Covid serology test may be the result of infections with one of several other coronaviruses; thus, the presence of such antibodies does not guarantee protection against Covid-19. Antibodies raised against the vaccines are specific for SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 and therefore provide specific protection.
Can I not get vaccinated and simply take classes online remotely from home?
SU is not offering hybrid courses for the fall semester. All regular fall classes and labs will be in person.
Why do students need to be vaccinated but staff and faculty do not have the same requirement?
The American College Health Association has so far only advised campuses to issue vaccine requirements for students. While faculty and staff are not required, they are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and most already have. Most faculty and staff do not have the same level of continuous interaction as students do with each other, and they are not in the sustained close proximity associated with living on campus. In addition, immunizations for other illnesses have long been required for students and not for the average University employee for the same reasons. The University reserves the right to amend its policy on employee vaccination in the future.
Can an unvaccinated guest visit me on campus?
Yes, but we prefer that they be vaccinated. If they are unvaccinated, they must follow safety protocols for wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. They may not enter residence halls. They also may be communicated with as a follow up in the event of contact tracing.
Can I get the vaccine upon arrival to campus?
Students are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated in their home community over the summer. For students who are not vaccinated when they arrive to campus, SU will assist in securing vaccine appointments and coordinating transportation off-site. Covid vaccines will be accessible in the local area and may be available on campus in a limited supply. There are no fees associated with Covid vaccination.
I sent my vaccine card to firstname.lastname@example.org previously. Do I need to submit it again?
No. If you already submitted a completed Covid vaccination record, it is still on file with the university’s Student Health Center.
What about GO Programs?
See Study Abroad FAQs.
As a high school student wanting to take a class on campus, do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes. There are no exemptions for high school students allowed at this time. Pfizer’s vaccine has been approved by the FDA for use in people as young as 12 years old.