An Update on Fordham’s Bivalent Vaccine Mandate


Fordham required the bivalent booster for students, faculty and staff. (Courtesy of Twitter)

On Sept. 26, Fordham announced that all students, faculty and staff must receive a COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccination by Nov. 1. Before the deadline passed, there was pushback against the mandate from parents, students and faculty, but now, the deadline has passed. According to Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications, the vaccine mandate is not currently being enforced by gate guards and nobody’s ID has been deactivated.

Instead, the enforcement starts by “individually contacting everyone eligible for the bivalent booster who has not yet updated their vaccine records,” said Howe.

“The university hasn’t set a date yet [for when the enforcement starts] — once it does, we will notify all faculty, students, staff and parents via email, the web and social media — likely multiple times before the deadline,” said Howe.

At the moment, the university has not released any specific numbers on compliance. “We are still working with the student community on compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine policy and don’t have any specific numbers to share at this time,” said Keith Eldredge, assistant vice president and  dean of student services.

Additionally, the university has granted  extensions and exemptions for the vaccine.

“Students requested extensions for many reasons. The most common was from students who have a positive test within the past 90 days, which is accommodated when they upload documentation of that positive test via the link on the VitalCheck daily questionnaire,” said Eldredge. “Other students who have other minor medical issues (such as a cold, virus or the flu) are receiving the vaccine when it is medically advisable for them to do so.”

Eldredge said the new requirement as being very effective. “I think the update to Fordham’s COVID-19 vaccine policy to include the new bivalent booster in accordance with the change in the CDC definition of being up to date was very effective,” said Eldredge.

“Of course, we know that research shows that being fully vaccinated and boosted helps protect students, faculty and staff.  We wish that it would prevent all transmission and know that is not the case, but increasing the protection in our community is important,” said Eldredge. “The policy update also seems to have reminded students of the importance of their health and the continuing impact that the COVID-19 virus can have on their personal health, as well as, the health of others on campus, in the community adjacent to campus, and in their home community.”

Olivia Griffin, FCRH ’25, says she agrees with the booster requirement, but she feels like the time window was not ideal. “While I feel that the booster is necessary for the university’s and surrounding area’s health, I wish that Fordham would have more accessible options for vaccination times and extended the deadline,” said Griffin. She added, “Many students had to juggle their schedules with booster side effects with midterm season.”

Alexa Davidson, FCRH  ’25, also says she is happy with the university’s decision. “I’m really glad that Fordham decided to make the bivalent booster mandatory. I feel safer on campus knowing that we are all taking the extra precaution,” said Davidson.

Eldredge added that not everyone was aware of the benefits of the booster before the requirement. “Some students seemed unaware of the new booster and the benefits it can provide and seemed grateful for the awareness we brought,” said Eldredge.

“I hope the conversation around the policy has reminded students of the important lessons they are learning in and out of the classroom about the importance of seeking answers to difficult questions from reliable sources. Debate and disagreement can provide opportunity to learn and grow provided all parties approach the conversation with an open mind and a willingness to listen,” said Eldredge.