Fordham Requires Students Be Vaccinated by Fall


Fordham will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they return to campus for the fall semester. (Pia Fischetti/The Fordham Ram)

Since the recent production of several COVID-19 vaccines, Fordham University has implemented a vaccination requirement for all students ahead of the fall semester. Fordham has given all current, on-campus students several resources so they can receive the vaccine.
Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications and special advisor to the president, wrote as of April 22 that the Fordham community seemed to support the new vaccine requirement. “Anecdotally yes, but we have not polled the campus community, so that’s an informed guess,” wrote Howe in an email to the Ram.
There will be room for exceptions to the mandatory vaccination, though. People that don’t fit the standards for the vaccine will not have to receive it. The exact perimeters of these accommodations have not yet been announced.
“The University will offer medical and religious accommodations,” wrote Howe. “We are finalizing the process for requesting accommodations and expect to announce it in the coming weeks.”
Just because the campus community will be vaccinated does not mean that mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines will end for certain.
Howe explained that what the university does will be dependent on several factors. “It’s too soon to say: it will depend upon the guidance of the CDC and NYS and NYC Departments of Health,” wrote Howe.
The uncertainty lies in the fact that there have been no clear guidelines set forth for vaccinated people and mask-wearing by any of the departments Howe listed.
Currently, Rose Hill’s on-campus vaccination site is located in the Engineering Office behind O’Hare Hall. On the Lincoln Center campus, the vaccination site is located in McMahon Hall in Room 211.
The vaccination sites currently provide doses of the Moderna vaccine, which requires a second dose four weeks after the first. The second dose must be administered in the same state as the first dose but not necessarily at the same vaccination site, according to the university health center.
At the moment, the surrounding Bronx community seems to be in favor of the proposed vaccination requirement. No polls were conducted on the new requirement, but Howe said the administration has received some positive feedback from the community.
However, the vaccine rollout in the United States has not come without pushback. Fordham has covered reasons that would allow one to be exempt from vaccination and addressed individuals who are concerned about their health after receiving the vaccine.
In a recent email to the Fordham community, Marco Valera, vice president of administration, clarified what those who are concerned should do. “If you have concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccines, your best option is to speak with a family physician: they will understand the medical issue and be acquainted with your medical history,” wrote Valera.
Students can also speak with an online physician through VitalCheck, the website the campus community uses to check the health of each individual stepping onto either the Rose Hill or Lincoln Center campuses.
The administration left the campus community with an encouraging message relaying a recent downtick in COVID-19 cases on Fordham’s campuses in Valera’s most recent email.
“In the last 14 days, 25 people in the University community tested positive for COVID-19, an overall on-ground positivity rate of 0.34%, as listed on the University dashboard,” wrote Valera.
In addition to vaccines sites available on Fordham’s campuses, students and other members of the Fordham community can find additional information about other clinics on the state’s official website.