COVID-19 Vaccine Information

RIT is requiring students to have a COVID-19 vaccination prior to coming to the Henrietta campus for the Fall 2021 semester.

RIT strongly encourages all community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations are readily available in our region and we are all now eligible. We are currently studying the issue of employee requirements.

Student Vaccination Requirements

In order to provide the safest possible learning and living environment, RIT will require full COVID-19 vaccination for undergraduate and graduate students prior to coming to the Henrietta campus for Fall 2021.

This decision was made in accordance with the recommendation of the American College Health Association (ACHA) and following discussions with national, state, and local health officials as well as student, staff, and faculty representatives.

More detailed information will be forthcoming later this month and over the course of the summer, including how students will show proof of their vaccination.

Availability in New York State

New Yorkers 16 years of age or older are eligible to schedule appointments. Eligible people can schedule appointments with individual providers, including pharmacies, local health departments, and hospitals. You are responsible for making your own appointment.

RIT students living in Rochester (on- or off-campus) are considered Monroe County residents. If you are on campus or currently located in the Rochester area and are looking to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, consider scheduling a vaccine appointment at the Wegmans located at 650 Hylan Drive. The RIT off-campus shuttle runs seven days a week and stops at the entrance to the Wegmans parking lot.

Students who are struggling with the logistics of scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination, including locating available appointments and obtaining transportation, can contact Case Management for support.

RIT strongly encourages a COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

  • Pfizer (two-dose vaccine, 3 weeks in between doses)
  • Moderna (two-dose vaccine, 4 weeks in between doses)
  • Johnson & Johnson (single-dose vaccine)

If you are getting a two-dose vaccine, you must get both doses at the same location. Do not start the vaccine process if you do not plan on being in town for your second dose. There is no cost to the individual for any of the vaccines. Any individuals who have already had the COVID-19 infection may receive the vaccination and are encouraged to do so.

Voluntary Vaccine Reporting

RIT is asking faculty and staff to voluntarily report their vaccine status via the RIT Oracle Employee Self-Service portal in order to get a sense of the campus community's overall vaccination rate. Overarching percentages will be shared on RIT’s COVID-19 dashboard and may also be used in managing expectations and messaging for students and families. The data will also help shape safety policies, subject to New York state guidelines, including the required level of protective measures (e.g., masking rules, size of in-person gatherings, etc.).

Vaccination Site Resources

For faculty and staff

Rochester Regional Health Family Medicine Practice at RIT has announced a new COVID-19 vaccine sign-up for eligible RIT faculty and staff. Check the RRH website for available appointments. Or go to the New York state website to schedule an appointment.

For students currently residing in New York State

For students currently residing in Rochester area

For students currently residing outside of New York State

If you are located outside of New York State, a great place to start is your state’s department of health website. Another option is VaccineFinder, which is a free, online service where you can search for pharmacies and providers that offer the vaccination. Information about where COVID-19 vaccines are available is provided directly by pharmacies and providers, in collaboration with states, and is updated daily. VaccineFinder is operated by Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the CDC.

Federal Retail Pharmacy Program

If you’re interested in locating a vaccine through a local pharmacy, use the CDC Retail Pharmacy List, which includes various pharmacies offering the vaccine through the federal government. This site also allows you to search pharmacies by state.

Paid Time Off for Employees

The state of New York has announced that, effective March 12, 2021, through December 31, 2022, employees can receive up to four hours excused time off with pay, per injection, to receive the COVID-19 vaccination during scheduled work hours. 

For nonexempt employees, supervisors should enter NYS COVID19 as the Kronos pay code for absences to receive the COVID-19 vaccination during scheduled work hours.

Exempt employees living in New York state should use the code EX NYS COVID to enter the absence in Oracle through Oracle Employee Self-Service. This captures the absence information in hours but does not impact the employee’s pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Immunization is critical to controlling the spread of the virus and to provide the best chance to broaden in-person instruction, on-campus activities and enhance student living. The decision to require vaccinations was made following discussions with national, state and local health officials as well as student, staff and faculty representatives.

RIT strongly encourages all community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations are readily available in our region and we are all now eligible. We are currently studying the issue of employee requirements. More information for employees and how to voluntarily report your vaccine status is available.

Vaccinations are for the health of the entire community and the COVID-19 vaccination is required. For those individuals who are unable to get the vaccine for specific medical or religious reasons, they can follow the exemption process through the Student Health Center.

Yes. A COVID-19 vaccination provides stronger and longer lasting immunity than a prior infection with COVID-19.  

The CDC website is a good source for vaccine information. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson

Pfizer and Moderna require two shots, separated by three and four weeks, respectively. The Johnson & Johnson requires only one shot. If you are getting one of the two dose vaccines, you must get both doses in the same city. Do not start the vaccine process if you do not plan on being in town for your second dose. This may present complications if you don’t plan accordingly.

If you can commit to completing the vaccine process in Rochester, go ahead and start the process here once you become eligible. If you register for a vaccine that requires a second dose, make sure you will be in town for the second dose! Otherwise, wait until you get to your summer location before getting your vaccine.

It typically takes at least two weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination.

You will need to supply documentation supporting your medical or religious exemption.  For more details, refer to the Student Health Center website.

Students must receive a vaccine—both doses of a two-dose vaccine or the single dose of a one-dose vaccine—approved for use in the U.S. or accepted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, i.e. authorized for emergency use by World Health Organization. Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

  • Pfizer (two-dose vaccine, 3 weeks in-between doses)
  • Moderna (two-dose vaccine, 4 weeks in-between doses)
  • Johnson & Johnson (single-dose vaccine)

We realize some of our international students may be vaccinated with vaccines that have not been approved for use in the United States. Our process will be informed by New York State Department of Health guidance and CDC guidance. As of May 1, 2021, that guidance is to obtain an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series.

The Student Health Center Wellness Portal will be able to receive your uploaded COVID-19 vaccination documentation by June 1, 2021. 

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be entered through the Wellness Portal in the same manner as all other required vaccinations.

It is expected that all students will make every effort to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series by August 1, 2021. This will provide the highest degree of immunity by the time classes commence. If vaccine is unavailable in your local area, our RIT team will assist, on a case-by-case basis, those with circumstances that could cause a delay in any vaccinations.

Summer students will be required to provide proof of vaccination by the same time as others returning to campus in the fall.

There are many, free of charge, sites where vaccines are available. You can locate a vaccine site near you.

RIT students struggling with the logistics of scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination, including locating available appointments and obtaining transportation, can contact Case Management for support.

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.