I have a positive Covid antibody test from already being infected. Do I still need to be vaccinated?
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/booster 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 vaccine/booster are specific for SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 and therefore provide specific protection.
Can I not be vaccinated and simply take classes online remotely from home?
SU is not offering hybrid courses. All regular classes and labs will be in person.
Why do students need to be vaccinated, but staff and faculty do not have the same requirement?
While faculty and staff are not required, Susquehanna faculty and staff have a very high vaccination rate. They are strongly encouraged to get up to date 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. Faculty and staff who are unvaccinated are required to follow the same protocols for unvaccinated students. Faculty and staff members who choose to participate in the Global Opportunities Program as GO directors, whether traveling domestically or internationally with students, are required to be fully vaccinated.
Can a guest visit me on campus?
Yes, but overnight guests are to be registered and must be fully vaccinated. They also could be communicated with as a follow up in the event of contact tracing.
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, fully vaccinated, though high school students can request a medical, religious or philosophical exemption. Pfizer’s vaccine (and booster) has been approved by the FDA for use in people as young as 5 years old.