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For students: Important details on COVID-19 vaccinations

Key details


  • Students are required to be vaccinated—or have proper proof of exemption—for the 2021–22 school year.
  • For more details, view our FAQs.
  • If you have questions about getting vaccinated, email

Full message

This message was emailed to all students on July 30, 2021.

With just about one month until the start of the fall semester, the following University update provides more details on the COVID vaccination requirement for students, the deadlines students should know about, as well as the processes for students to obtain the vaccination upon arrival to campus.

The requirement

The University requires all undergraduate and graduate students who plan to enroll and be on campus for the 2021-22 academic year to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This also includes University students who will be studying abroad this fall, as well as visiting students studying at Rochester. This vaccination requirement applies to all schools, and all students who will be living either on campus or off campus.

As communicated previously, students need to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine by August 1, 2021, as well as upload proof of vaccination to the UHSConnect portal. If it’s not possible to be vaccinated by August 1, the University will make all efforts to provide the vaccine to students upon arrival to campus (see below).

The deadline to request a medical or religious exemption was July 15, but if a student has missed this deadline and still wishes to submit a request for an exemption, it is very important for them to complete the COVID Exemption Form and upload it via UHSConnect.  Delays in submitting this documentation could delay moving into campus housing or registering for classes.

Any student who doesn’t plan to be vaccinated nor apply for a religious or medical exemption may not be on campus.

Arriving to campus needing the vaccine

Students arriving to campus from locations that do not have easy access to an approved vaccine will be able to be vaccinated through UHS, or through one of the nearby pharmacies, including the CVS in College Town.

Students needing the vaccine upon arrival should email—it is important that UHS receives this information so that a vaccination can be scheduled, and also to prevent any disruption to a student’s transition to campus or attending classes.

UHS will provide the Pfizer vaccine to arriving students who need it from Aug 18–24, and will schedule those who need a second dose three weeks later. UHS will have additional vaccination schedules available outside of these dates, as well, with appointments scheduled through UHSConnect. Students who want the Moderna or J&J vaccine will need to go off campus.

Everyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a face mask on campus until the point of being fully vaccinated, which is two weeks following a final dose.

International students and students arriving from abroad

The University will recognize students as being fully vaccinated when they have received a vaccine approved for emergency use by the CDC or a vaccine approved on the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use list (click on the tab: Is there a Vaccine for COVID-19? for the updated list).

If a student received a vaccine that is not approved, the University is prepared to offer an approved vaccine upon arrival to campus. If only one dose of an approved two-dose vaccine was received upon arrival to Rochester, there are multiple options at Rochester-area pharmacies to receive the second dose (listed below).

Getting the vaccine

Students can take advantage of several vaccination options now that COVID-19 vaccine supplies have increased, including local pharmacies. In the Rochester area, the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub continues to provide resources and information on the various locations that offer the vaccine.

Students who have only received one dose of the Pfizer two-dose vaccine upon arrival to Rochester can receive the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a UHS vaccine clinic. Please pre-schedule your appointment by going into UHSConnect. Students can also receive the Pfizer vaccine at the CVS on Mt. Hope Avenue in College Town. Walgreens at 1575 Mt. Hope Avenue can offer a second dose of the Moderna vaccine. If you are seeking a second dose, you need to bring proof of your first dose/vaccination card. Students under the age of 18 will need a parent or legal guardian to provide consent for the vaccination.

Uploading COVID-19 vaccine proof

This is a requirement: all undergraduate and graduate students who plan to enroll and be on campus for the 2021-22 academic year—as well as students studying abroad and visiting students—need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and need to upload proof of vaccination to the UHSConnect Portal (find instructions here). The UHSConnect portal is the only way that University officials can verify a student’s vaccination, and students must upload it into UHSConnect. If you are vaccinated, please upload this proof to UHSConnect now.

The University’s student vaccination confirmation process will be as follows (with the understanding that some students will get vaccinated upon arrival, and others may arrive partially vaccinated):

  • August 1: Deadline for vaccination and uploading proof through UHSConnect (some schools and programs may have had an earlier deadline and already uploaded proof).
  • August 2: UHS has data on who has and has not been vaccinated, as well as those who have been approved for an exemption.
  • August 16: Any student who is not vaccinated and not received an exemption, or who doesn’t intend to be vaccinated upon arrival, will have their classes removed from their schedule and a registration hold will be placed on the student record until the student completes the vaccination requirements. Additionally, these students will not be allowed to move into campus housing. These actions will also need to be taken for students who may be fully vaccinated, but who have not uploaded proof of this vaccination through the UHSConnect portal.
  • August 31: Deadline to request 100 percent financial tuition reimbursement.

Face mask policies on campus

Visit our Face Masks and COVID-19 Prevention page for the latest guidelines and updates regarding face masking policies.

For more information on the COVID Student Vaccination Requirement, please see the FAQ.

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