I have a positive Covid antibody test from already being infected. Do I still need to be up to date vaccinated (with a booster)?
The short answer is yes. A previous infection does not exempt an individual from SU’s vaccine/booster 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 up to date vaccinated (with a booster) and simply take classes online remotely from home?
SU is not offering hybrid courses for the spring semester. All regular spring classes and labs will be in person.
Why do students need to be up to date vaccinated (with a booster), but staff and faculty do not have the same requirement?
While faculty and staff are not required, 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 not unvaccinated are required to follow the protocols for unvaccinated students.
Can a guest visit me on campus?
Yes, but overnight guests are to be registered and all guests who enter a student residence must be up to date vaccinated (with the booster if eligible). They also may be communicated with as a follow up in the event of contact tracing. Guests can visit elsewhere on campus outside of residence areas and must be masked up indoors.
Can I get the booster upon arrival to campus?
As soon as eligible, students are strongly encouraged to get the booster in their home community over the winter break. For students who have not received the booster when they arrive to campus, SU will assist in securing vaccine booster appointments. Covid vaccine boosters will be accessible in the local area and on Feb. 4 on campus. There are no fees associated with Covid vaccination boosters.
I sent my vaccine card to firstname.lastname@example.org previously. Do I need to submit it again?
If you have not already submitted your card indicating your booster shot, email an image of it to email@example.com.
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/boosted?
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 5 years old. Boosters have been approved for everyone 12 years and older.