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Ithaca College To Require Vaccinations, SUNY Provides J&J Doses

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Ithaca College will require all students attending this fall to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement on Wednesday followed a similar decision from Cornell University* last week, which will require students to show proof of vaccination before returning to campus.

Students with medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated, but in a statement, Ithaca College President Shirley Collado said that the college expects the vast majority of individuals on campus to be vaccinated.

“The coming academic year will be another moment for us to affirm this commitment and prioritize our collective good as we co-create a vibrant and engaged on-campus experience at Ithaca College,” Collado said.

Her letter did not state how the campus will track vaccinations, but added students should expect most coursework and activities in the upcoming semester to be face-to-face. A traditional fall and Thanksgiving break will be reinstated and the campus’s athletic teams will fully re-engage in NCAA and Liberty League competitions.

The State University of New York (SUNY) is also encouraging students to get vaccinated, but has not announced any plans to require them. SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said Tuesday that a program will be in place to vaccinate any SUNY residential student who wants a shot by the end of this semester.

Malatras said the university system is “pushing very hard” to get all faculty, staff and students vaccinated, according to WKBW in Buffalo, but is taking a voluntary approach.

The system reserved a shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with 18,600 doses being distributed to 34 SUNY campuses. Since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose, university officials said thousands of students will be able to be fully inoculated before summer break.

There are currently 44 state and county-run vaccination sites across 36 SUNY campuses.

*Full Disclosure: Cornell University is a WSKG Underwriter