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COVID-19 Student Immunization Policy and Procedure

COVID-19 Student Immunization Requirement Policy

I. Policy Statement

This policy details the COVID-19 immunization record requirements for all Ramapo students.

II. Reason for Policy

To minimize the outbreaks of COVID-19 among students on-campus; to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among all persons at Ramapo College of New Jersey; to mitigate the severity of illness associated with COVID-19; and to promote the public health of the community consistent with federal, State and local health efforts to stem the pandemic.

III. Definitions

COVID-19: COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a  coronavirus discovered in 2019.

COVID-19 Immunization: Administration of a complete series of any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (AICP) of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  As of this date of this policy, there are  three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA: two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) and one viral vector vaccine (Janssen {Johnson & Johnson}).

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster:  Additional dose(s) of the COVID-19 Immunization needed to “boost” the immune system.  As of the date of this policy, there are currently two COVID-19 bivalent boosters authorized or approved for use in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech, & Moderna.

Fully Vaccinated: Defined by the CDC as the completion of “two weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen vaccine.”  This is not the same as being up to date. 

Up to Date: Fully vaccinated with completion of an approved two dose series or a single dose J&J, along with having received recommended booster doses when eligible. This offers the best protection against COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Student Immunization Requirement Procedure

I. Immunization Record and Health Requirement

All students planning to attend Ramapo College  must present evidence of full COVID-19 immunization prior to coming onto campus for any reason, including but not limited to moving into a residence hall and attending classes on campus or in-person. Evidence of  immunization must be uploaded to covidvaccine@ramapo.edu as soon as the series is completed and no later than July 15, 2022. 

All students, who are eligible, are strongly recommended to obtain a COVID-19 booster. Booster eligibility can be found on the CDC Booster Shot website.

Students with a previous history of COVID-19 must still meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement regardless of whether they have documentation of antibodies to this virus.

International students vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized for use in the United States may also upload documentation signed by a health care provider licensed to practice medicine in the United States or a foreign country of the name of the vaccine and the dates that the vaccine was given.

This procedure is subject to change based on factors such as the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from government authorities.

II. Exceptions for the Requirement

Other than the exceptions/exemptions listed below, this policy and procedure shall apply to every student, matriculated or enrolled full-time or part-time in a Ramapo College program, including joint and collaborative programs with other institutions, and to all visiting, exchange and special-program students from other institutions.

Exceptions/Exemptions to this requirement may be considered by the College as follows:

  1. Students who are enrolled only in remotely-delivered courses (i.e., virtual fully synchronous, virtual synchronous-asynchronous, and online delivery modes). To qualify, the student must have no physical presence on campus.
  2. Individuals participating in fully online or off-campus continuing education programs. To qualify, the individual must have no physical presence on campus.
  3. A student may be exempted from the COVID-19 immunization requirement if they have a medical contraindication for COVID-19 immunization and if failure to receive this immunization does not prevent fulfillment of the essential functions and/or curricular requirements of the academic program. Conditions comprising valid medical contraindications to vaccine administration are those set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such students must submit the COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Exemption Form (PDF) which must be completed by a medical provider licensed to practice medicine in the United States or a foreign country stating that this vaccine is contraindicated and giving all the reasons for and duration of this contraindication to Health Services for review.  These written statements will become part of the student’s immunization record and will be reviewed periodically by the medical staff in Health Services or an infectious disease expert to determine whether this exemption is valid and shall remain in effect.  When a medical contraindication no longer exists, the student must then comply with the immunization record requirement of this  policy and procedure.
    The College will provide reasonable accommodations to those students whose medical condition contraindicates the COVID-19 immunization so long as the failure to be immunized will not prevent the student from fulfilling the essential functions and/or curricular requirements of the academic program.
  4. A student may be considered for exemption from the COVID-19 immunization record requirement if the student provides a written statement explaining how immunization conflicts with the student’s bona fide religious beliefs or practices and if failure to receive this immunization does not prevent fulfillment of the essential functions and/or curricular requirements of the academic program. A general philosophical or moral objection to immunization shall not suffice as the basis for exemption on religious grounds.  The College shall provide reasonable accommodations to those students whose religious beliefs bar COVID-19 immunization as long as the failure to be immunized will not prevent the student from fulfilling the essential functions and/or curricular requirements of the academic program.

III.  Record Keeping Requirement

Acceptable documents serving as evidence of COVID-19 immunization may include:

  1. A completed CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or a medical record signed by a licensed health care provider indicating the name and dates of administration of the COVID 19 vaccine. 
  2. Documentation of internationally administered vaccines must include the name and dates of administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and be signed by a licensed healthcare provider.