Mandatory Student Immunizations

Students are required to be immunized per New York State Public Health Law and State University of New York (SUNY).  Complete immunization records or exemption requests must be submitted to the college in accordance with all posted deadlines.  A lack of compliance may impact a student’s registration status.  Any refunds would be subject to all existing SUNY policies.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) and Meningococcal Meningitis

Students taking six or more credits and born on or after January 1, 1957, are required to provide proof of adequate immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella before attending classes, in accordance with standards approved by the New York State Public Health Law.

New York State Public Health Law also requires that the College distribute information about meningococcal meningitis and vaccination against the disease.  Additionally, the College is legally required to maintain a record of your returned response.

Although students enrolled for less than six semester hours are exempt from these requirements, immunization is strongly encouraged by public health officials.  Recent high school graduates are encouraged to have copies of high school health records sent to the Office of the Registrar.  All other students should have their physicians forward these records.

Nursing Students

Nursing students must also provide proof of a yearly PPD (Mantoux) skin test for tuberculosis, yearly physical update, documentation of Hepatitis B vaccination (unless there is a signed declination statement) and proof of chicken pox, chicken pox vaccination (two shots), or a positive varicella titer.  Current professional liability insurance and CPR are also required.  T-dap is required every 10 years.  Other requirements for nursing students can be found under the Nursing AAS program requirements.

COVID – 19

Students, in accordance with SUNY Policy 3100 COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.  Effective September 27, 2021 students must provide such evidence prior to coming to campus and show that such vaccine was received at least two weeks prior to arriving on a SUNY campus for any reason, including, without limitation, moving into a residence hall, attending in-person campus classes, participating in athletics and/or entering any SUNY Facility. Proof of COVID-19 antibodies through test results cannot be used as an alternative to receipt of a COVID-19 Vaccination. Any refunds would be subject to all existing SUNY policies.

Exemption Request Deadlines

Religious and Medical exemption requests shall be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the start of the semester. A formal decision will be sent to the student no later than 5 business days after the exemption request has been filed, through the student campus email system.

Religious Exemption Requests

Limited exceptions are granted for students who hold “individual, genuine and sincere religious beliefs” that are contrary to the practice of immunization. Students requesting religious exemptions shall submit a Request for Religious Exemption to Measles, Mumps and Rubella Immunization Form and/or Request for Religious Exemption to COVID-19 Immunization Form to the Office of Registration and Records.  Forms are available at https://www.sunyacc.edu/admissions/registrars-office.

These forms shall be personally written by the student, in one’s own words and explain:

1. how receiving the vaccination conflicts with their sincere religious belief or practice by:

  • describing the nature and tenets [the doctrine, principle or position] of their religious belief
  • describing the practices, rituals and observances of their religious belief
  • sharing when, where and how the student has adhered or embraced the religious belief or practice
  • providing names of others who may have observed one’s past adherence to their religious belief or practice

2.  how not receiving the vaccination will not otherwise prevent completion of their programmatic or curricular requirements of the academic program.

General philosophical or moral ojections to vaccines, articles/other media sources opposing vaccines, or copies of writing done by someone else may not be used as part of any exemption request.

Medical Exemption Requests

Limited exceptions are granted for students for whom immunization would be physically detrimental or otherwise medically contraindicated.  Students requesting medical exemptions shall submit a Request for Medical Exemption to COVID-19 Immunization Form or Student Immunization Record Form (for MMR) to the Office of Registration and Records.  Forms are available at https://www.sunyacc.edu/admissions/registrars-office.

COVID-19 Online Learning and Fully Remote Exemption Requests

For Fall 2021, exemptions may be provided to students who will have no physical presence on campus nor reasonably anticipate using on-campus services for the entirety of the academic term may submit a COVID-19 Information and Vaccination Response Form to the Office of Registration and Records.  Form is available at https://www.sunyacc.edu/admissions/registrars-office.  Future semesters will require immunization attestation as part of the course registration process.

COVID-19 Exemption Requirements

All students with religious or medical exemptions will be subject to mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing administered by the campus. The campus may impose additional restrictions as needed. Students with approved exemptions may be excluded from all in-person classes and activities at the campus' discretion should a COVID-19 outbreak occur at the campus. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in course withdrawal or disciplinary action.

Students who are granted a medical or religious exemption and who will be accessing a SUNY Facility without first receiving a COVID-19 Vaccination, must either: (1) quarantine for at least ten (10) days upon arrival; (2) submit an attestation to the campus that they have quarantined for at least ten (10) days prior to arrival; or, (3) provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within the past (5) days.

Exemption Grievance Procedure

A student who wishes to appeal a denied religious exemption request may submit an exemption grievance to the Director of Compliance & Risk Management, compliance@sunyacc.edu.  This grievance must be in writing and include supporting documentation not already provided.  If, after review of the student's statement, questions remain about the existence of a sincerely held religious belief, Department of Health regulation and SUNY permits the College to request supporting documents.  Some examples include;

  1. A letter from an authorized representative of the church, temple, religious institution, etc. attended by the student/parent/guardian, literature from the church, temple, religious institution, etc.  explaining doctrine/beliefs that prohibit immunization (Note: students need not necessarily be a member of an organized religion or religious institution to obtain a religious exemption);
  2. Other writings or sources upon which the student relied in formulating religious beliefs that prohibit immunization;
  3. A copy of any student statements to healthcare providers or school district officials or prior college explaining the religious basis for refusing immunization;
  4. Any documents or other information the student may be willing to provide that reflect a sincerely held religious objection to immunization (for example: disclosure of whether student/parent/guardian or other children have been immunized, student/parent/guardian's current position on allowing themselves or their children to receive or refuse other kinds of medical treatment.)

A student who wishes to appeal a denied medical exemption may submit an exemption grievance to the Director of Compliance & Risk Management, compliance@sunyacc.edu.  This grievance must be in writing and include a second opinion from a qualified medical professional.

Upon review of the grievance, in conjunction with SUNY legal counsel, a formal decision will be sent to the student no later than 10 business days after the grievance has been filed, through the student campus email system.  All grievance decisions are final.

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Rationale:  

  1. The catalog has been updated to include the new and or updated forms related to COVID exemption requests.
  2. A grievance procedure has been added for those denied a medical or religious exemption.
  3. Policy updates, including deadlines, have occurred based on Fall 2021 assessment of vaccination, exemption and grievance activities.

 

 

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