COVID-19

All concerns regarding COVID-19 and potential cases should be directed to the University COVID Support Team at 718-990-2700.

Self-Isolation Notification Form

St. John’s University will require a COVID-19 vaccination for all students planning to be on campus during the 2021–2022 academic year. All students arriving for the fall 2021 semester must upload to the St. John’s University Health Portal proof of COVID-19 immunization—defined as a complete series of any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination must be received by the University within the St. John’s University Health Portal proof of COVID-19 immunization by August 1, 2021. Students who are enrolled in a fully online degree program who are fully remote will be exempt from this policy.

How to Upload Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

To upload your documents student health services health portal (Medicat):

  1. Go to signon.stjohns.edu and sign in using your St. John's network credentials that you use to access your St. John’s email.
    • If you need assistance logging in, please review the support article, How do I log in to signon.stjohns.edu? If this is your first-time logging in, you will be prompted to set up multifactor authentication.
  2. Once you signed in, click on the icon for Medicat (Student Health Services and Wellness).
    Medicat icon in Okta
  3. Once you in Medicat, select Uploads. Scroll down to the drop-down menu and select type of document you will be uploading.
    • For example, "COVID-19, (Moderna)", "COVID-19, (Pfizer)", "COVID-19, Johnson & Johnson", "COVID-19 (Astra Zeneca)"
  4. Click Select File to browse your computer for the document you will upload and click Upload.
    • Please make sure you upload all the required forms.

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. .

  • Before uploading your documents, verify in Medicat what immunization records are on file for you.
  • If your COVID vaccination records are on file, you should see a screen like this: Medicat - Record on file
  • If your record is missing COVID-19 vaccination, please upload them now by following the directions above.

Medical or Religious Exemption Process

The deadline to apply for a medical or religious exemption was August 9, 2021.

If you have any questions or need assistance regarding a medical or religious exemption, please contact Student Health Services at 718-990-6360 (select option 4 from the menu) Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The deadline to apply for a medical exemption was August 9, 2021.

The deadline to apply for a religious exemption was August 9, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

For people who are sick:

  • Stay home.
  • If you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Keep sick household members away from others. If you have a separate room that is best.
  • Use soap and water, a bleach and water solution, or EPA-approved household products. You can make your own cleanser with a mixture of 1 cup of liquid unscented chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.

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.

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.

FAQ for International Students

If you have the opportunity to receive the COVID vaccine outside of the US, we encourage you to do so.  All vaccines on the WHO approved list will be recognized.  Please be sure to have a picture/copy of your vaccine record that includes your name, the vaccine name, and date of administration. 

Individuals who received vaccines not approved by either the FDA or the WHO will need to receive an FDA-approved vaccine upon arrival in the U.S. Click here for information about WHO-approved vaccines.

If necessary, you will be able to receive another vaccine when you arrive.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 you will be eligible for a vaccine.

If necessary, while are not fully vaccinated and awaiting your second dose your Storm Card will be active, and you will will be permitted to move into your residence hall as well as attend classes. During this time, we ask that you abide by CDC and New York State guidelines that require those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face mask.  

Please follow the instructions above and upload a copy of your vaccination card and you are all set.

We encourage all students to try to get the vaccine locally BEFORE your arrival for fall semester. If you are unable to get the vaccine before your arrival, St. John’s will distributing the vaccine on certain dates connected to International Student Move-in.  International students living off campus will also participate in these vaccine distribution days.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 you will be eligible for a vaccine.

If necessary, while are not fully vaccinated and awaiting your second dose your Storm Card will be active, and you will will be permitted to move into your residence hall as well as attend classes. During this time, we ask that you abide by CDC and New York State guidelines that require those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face mask.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

There are currently three vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. These include the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, and the 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.

No.

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.

No. The CDC guidance indicates that should have both doses of the same vaccine. Individuals administering the vaccine will be tracking this to make sure you receive the same vaccine.

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).

The vaccines are readily available across the country. Check the New York State eligibility website for the latest information.

Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination has expanded in New York State to include everyone 12 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).

The vaccines are available to everyone free of charge. Some vaccination providers can charge your insurance company a small administration fee but there are no out of pocket costs for any of the vaccines.

Vaccinations provided at St. John’s University will be at no cost to faculty, staff and students. Vaccinations provided at NYC and NY State locations are free also. Most pharmacies offer the vaccine for free but may charge a distribution charge to your insurance.  If you do not have insurance, there is no charge.