All concerns regarding COVID-19 and potential cases should be directed to the University COVID Support Team at 718-990-2700.
As of April 21, 2021, St. John’s will require all students to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and to provide proof of vaccination before the start of each term. Students enrolled in fully online degree programs (see Find a Program | St. John's University), defined as students not physically on-campus for the duration of the degree, do not need to provide proof of vaccination. This does not include students taking only some of their courses online.
Proof of vaccination to COVID-19 must be submitted online via Medicat, the online patient portal.
Summer and Fall semesters: June 30Spring semester: December 15
To upload your documents student health services health portal (Medicat):
St. John’s has an interface with the New York State and New York City Immunization Registries. If you received your COVID-19 vaccination in New York State it is very likely we already have your vaccination on file and do not upload anything. .
People are best protected against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 when they stay up to date with vaccinations. COVID-19 vaccines continue to protect people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying—especially people who have received a booster.
Students who believe they qualify for either a medical or religious exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement must submit a completed exemption request. The exemption process for the Fall 2022 semester will begin on Monday, June 6, 2022, when the forms are made available here.
It is your responsibility to complete all documentation by the required deadlines. The University will accept exemption applications from students enrolled in classes for the Fall 2022 semester. Decisions regarding vaccine exemption applications are final and not appealable.
If a student’s application for an exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement is not granted, the student must provide proof of receipt of COVID-19 vaccination to attend in-person classes.
If a student has been previously been granted a medical/religious exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, the student must reapply each academic year or when terms of the granted exemption expire.
For students living in University housing: Before being allowed to move in, a student must have submitted proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose of J&J/Janssen) or have been granted a medical/religious exemption. There are no exceptions to this policy.
St. John’s University will require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose of J&J/Janssen) if a student is planning to be on campus during the 2022-2023 academic year for any reason. Only students enrolled in a fully online degree program (see list) are exempt from this policy. Please note that classes will operate in the format indicated in UIS.
If you have any questions regarding the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, please email Student Affairs at [email protected].
To apply for a medical exemption, please complete both forms and submit them in Medicat via signon.stjohns.edu (Medicat > Upload > Select “Medical Exemption Application”).
The deadline to submit an exemption application is Monday, August 1 by 4:30 p.m. (ET). Incomplete applications and/or late applications will not be considered. We strongly recommend submitting a medical exemption application as soon as possible, as processing times may be extended if consultation with your medical provider is required.
To apply for a religious exemption, please complete both forms and submit them along with your personal statement via the Religious Exemption Application Form (link coming soon). Do not submit a religious exemption application via Medicat; your application will not be accepted.
To apply for a religious exemption, please complete both forms and submit them along with your personal statement via the Religious Exemption Application Form. Do not submit a religious exemption application via Medicat; your application will not be accepted.
Please note that religious exemption applications must be submitted through this form to be considered.
The deadline to submit an exemption application is Monday, August 1 by 4:30 p.m. (ET). Incomplete applications and/or late applications will not be considered.
Please note any student who previously applied for a religious exemption to the University’s vaccine requirement and was denied, that student may not reapply. Decisions regarding vaccine exemption applications are final and not appealable.
Use this checklist if you test positive for COVID-19 after returning to campus:
Isolate yourself, regardless of vaccination status, even if you do not have symptoms.
Please isolate yourself for at least 5 days. Based on CDC and NYS guidelines, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 (with a few exceptions) will need to isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen. If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised, you will need to isolate for a full 10 days.
If you are identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 follow these steps.
Please take a moment to review the New York State Department of Health Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidance.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. For those with a weakened immune system, there's a chance the virus could cause much more serious respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.
This virus has similar symptoms to the seasonal flu, so it is important to not make any assumptions and have any respiratory illness evaluated by a healthcare provider. Take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season. Wash your hands often, cover your cough, and if you feel sick stay home.
Concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness are understandable.
If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please don’t hesitate to turn to the Student Health Services (718-990-6360, select option 4) or the Center for Counseling and Consultation (Queens, 718-990-6384; Staten Island, 718-390-4451) or the St. John’s University Mental Health Helpline (718-990-6352).
For information and support resources, please visit Following an Emergency Situation or a Traumatic Event.
For people who are sick:
The CDC is continuing to evaluate and adjust its recommendation about wearing masks. Please visit the CDC's website for the latest recommendations on wearing masks.
As of April 17 at 8 p.m., anyone in New York must wear a face covering in any situation in public where you cannot maintain social distancing. For more information about this Executive Order, please visit The New York State Novel Coronavirus website.
For up-to-date information, please check the following websites:
Vaccination will not be required for those not accessing campus or participating in any University-related activities. However, if a student accesses campus for any reason such as visiting friends, using the fitness center, participating in a University-recognized activity then proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. If in a subsequent semester a student takes an in-person class, COVID-19 vaccination will be required.
There are currently three vaccines that are approved and readily available in the United States: the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are known as mRNA vaccines. Your body uses the mRNA from the vaccine as instructions to make a protein that is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Your body then naturally produces antibodies to the protein. Once your immune system does this, it makes memory cells so that if it ever encounters this protein again, it will remember it and immediately start making antibodies to it. This way, if you ever get exposed to the actual virus, your body immediately recognizes it, and knows to use antibodies to prevent the virus from getting into your cells, replicating, and making you sick.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a harmless piece of a different virus to instruct your cells to make the protein unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Your body then naturally produces antibodies to it in the same way described above.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, given 21 days apart for Pfizer and 28 days apart for Moderna. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose.
All three vaccines–Johnson & Johnson,* Moderna, and Pfizer–offer clear public health and lifesaving benefits, providing protection against symptomatic COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. They are extremely effective at preventing death and hospitalization from COVID-19.
Mild to moderate side effects have been reported. These side effects include pain or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. Most of these side effects resolved within 24-48 hours.
The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses administered 21 days apart.
The Moderna vaccine requires 2 doses administered 28 days apart.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only 1 dose.
A person is considered “fully vaccinated” 2 weeks after their last dose of vaccine.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine studies found that two doses were needed to optimize the immune response and provide the best protection from COVID-19. Therefore, the 2-dose regimen is strongly recommended and will be necessary for documentation of full vaccination.
It typically takes at least two weeks after the final dose of a vaccine for the body to build up immunity to the disease.
Yes, as per CDC recommendations, vaccination is recommended regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic coronavirus infection, including a positive antibody test. For persons who experience lingering symptoms for weeks and months after diagnosis (i.e., “COVID-19 long-haulers”), vaccination is similarly considered safe and likely efficacious.
For persons with current COVID-19, vaccination should be deferred until recovery from acute illness.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very similar in composition. They consist of the mRNA particle, water, lipids, salt, sugar, and FDA-approved buffers. A complete list of the ingredients can be found here for Pfizer (page 11) and here for Moderna (page 11).
Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination has expanded in New York State to include everyone 5 years of age and older.
Visit COVID-19 Vaccine Finder. Or call one of these numbers: for New York City, dial (877) VAX- 4NYC (1-877-829-4692); for elsewhere in New York State, dial (833) NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).