COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines have been provided with Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. Health officials in the state of New York have full confidence they are safe and effective.

While RIT strongly encourages a COVID-19 vaccination, the university is not requiring immunization at this time. Even after you have received the vaccine, you will be expected to adhere to all aspects of the RIT safety plan, including wearing a mask and watching your distance.

Availability and Phased Roll-out

While availability is limited in the initial weeks of the vaccination program, more and more New Yorkers will become eligible as the vaccine supply increases. In-person college instructors, including graduate teaching assistants and those teaching a blended format (A/B), are included in Phase 1b and can begin scheduling appointments with individual providers, including pharmacies, local health departments, and hospitals. You are responsible for making your own appointment. You must bring proof of eligibility to a vaccination site, which may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority.

Note that RIT community members may be eligible for the vaccine outside of their role at RIT.

Learn more about the state’s phases of vaccine distribution

See if you may be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

No. While RIT strongly encourages a COVID-19 vaccination, the university is not requiring immunization at this time. The vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on an emergency use authorization basis.

The state of New York has announced who is eligible via phased distribution stages. New York’s plan is based upon perceived risk of contracting COVID-19. It is based largely on role and age.

“In-person college instructors” have been added to the list of 1b eligible populations to receive the vaccine. Faculty and graduate teaching assistants teaching in person or blended (e.g., A/B modalities) can register to get vaccinated. Start by completing this screening form.

New York will also accept the CDC’s newest guidance for those age 65. If you have a role where you are patient-facing, you would also be eligible.

We are hopeful that the state will add student-facing staff to this list. We are advocating for this through RIT’s Division of Government and Community Relations and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), the statewide association representing the public policy interests of the more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York.

First, understand that RIT does not control the vaccination eligibility or distribution, nor does the university have a supply. We have filed the application necessary to serve as a vaccine distribution site for employees and students. However, the state determines distribution sites and to date has not asked RIT to develop a site. We continue to monitor the state’s response. Other universities are serving as distribution sites. However, most of these are associated with major medical centers. 

We are seeking more information from the state, which ultimately decides eligibility requirements. Please be mindful that the purpose of the vaccine is to save lives and protect those who are at risk due to high exposure (e.g., hospital workers, public transit workers), increased age, or immunocompromising illnesses. Essential workers are not necessarily high priority to receive the vaccine. It depends on whether their role places them at increased risk. If one’s role involves significant face-to-face contact where distancing and masking is difficult, or if one’s role requires contact with large groups of people on a regular basis, and for prolonged periods of time, one might be eligible for a vaccine sooner.

RIT community members may be eligible for the vaccine outside of their role at RIT. New York's “Am I Eligible?” app helps New Yorkers determine their eligibility, connect them with administration centers, and schedule appointments. Access the app and find the latest information concerning the vaccine and its administration on the New York State website.

Don’t be complacent. No vaccine is 100 percent effective. After you have received the vaccine, you will be expected to adhere to all aspects of the RIT safety plan including wearing a mask, watching your distance, and washing your hands frequently.