Vaccination Policy

FDU requires that all students who attend either the Metropolitan or Florham campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirement applies to all students who will be on campus to live, attend classes, or engage in any in-person activities.   

“Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have elapsed after the final injection of an FDA-authorized vaccine. Faculty and staff who are assigned to be on campus are also required to be vaccinated.  

Students, faculty and staff must upload a copy of their vaccination card to the University’s health information portal (Medicat). Individuals should upload their vaccination records as soon as the first shot is received, and the record should be updated after receiving the second shot for vaccinations involving two doses. Please note that FDU allows limited medical and religious exemptions in keeping with applicable law and standard practices.     

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please see the section below and continue to monitor this site for further updates.      

COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs

Does FDU require all students to be immunized against COVID-19?   

FDU has updated its immunizations policy and requires all students who attend either the Metropolitan or Florham campus to be immunized against COVID-19. This includes all students who are on campus to live, attend classes, or engage in any in-person activities. Students enrolled in fully online programs and who do not come on campus are not required to be vaccinated.   

Do students who do not live on campus need to be immunized against COVID-19?

Yes. All students who are present on either the Metropolitan or Florham campus must be immunized against COVID-19 whether or not they live on campus. 

Do students have to prove that they have been vaccinated? How?    

Yes. Proof of vaccination is required of all students who will be present on either the Metropolitan or Florham campus. Students who are living on campus must provide proof of vaccination before moving in. Students can upload a copy of their vaccination card to Medicat, the University’s health information portal, to verify that they are fully vaccinated. Students can upload their record after they have received their first dose of a vaccine. Records can be updated later once receiving a second dose if a vaccine with two doses is selected. Medicat can be accessed with the same username and password that is used for FDU student accounts. If you are having technical difficulties, please contact the Help Desk at 973-443-8822.  

What vaccines fulfill this requirement? 

Students must receive a COVID-19 vaccine that is authorized in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At this time that includes vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

How can students based outside the U.S. who cannot receive a vaccine authorized by the FDA fulfill the requirement? 

We recognize that students outside the United States may only be able to obtain vaccines that have been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) but not the FDA. Following the guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FDU recognizes vaccines authorized for use by the WHO. Accordingly, international students who receive any of the FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccines meet the FDU requirement. 

We also understand that some students based outside the United States might not be able to obtain a vaccine authorized by either the WHO or FDA. FDU will work with these students to help them receive an FDA-approved vaccine after they arrive in the United States. 

Do students who have already had COVID-19 still need to show proof of vaccination to attend FDU?

Yes. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past still must be vaccinated and show proof of their vaccination.

Why should individuals get vaccinated?

Studies have shown that vaccines currently authorized for use in the United States are highly effective (more than 90%) at preventing COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination is an important step in stopping the pandemic, protects people who are vaccinated from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19, and may also protect others around them. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to you.

Are the vaccines safe?

According to the CDC, the authorized vaccines are safe and effective, and studies have shown they prevent severe illness and death from the virus. For more information, see the CDC website. FDU announced the vaccination policy well ahead of the fall semester so that students and their families had the opportunity to gather information, consult with their physicians and trusted health professionals, and make informed choices.   

What are the side effects of the vaccines? 

Information about possible side effects is available on the CDC website. Many people have reported no side effects, while others report normal side effects that are signs your body is building protection. According to the CDC, these can include pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and/or tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea; and normal side effects only last a couple of days. 

Are there any exemptions from this requirement?  

Yes. FDU allows limited exemptions for religious and medical reasons (including based on a disability or advice from a physician not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant or breastfeeding).

How can students request an exemption?

FDU requires students who request an exemption for religious reasons to submit a written statement, signed by the student (or by a parent or legal guardian if the student is a minor), explaining how immunization conflicts with the student’s sincere religious beliefs. FDU requires that students who request a medical exemption to submit a written statement from their health care provider explaining the medical contraindication and the time period for which the exemption is being requested. A form is provided in Medicat for those who wish to request an exemption.    

Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated? 

Yes, the University now requires faculty and staff who are assigned to be on campus to get vaccinated. Like students, faculty and staff may apply for medical and religious exemptions. Those who are granted exemptions will be subject to weekly PCR testing in order to be allowed on campus. 

What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)? 

The COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized by the FDA through a process called Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This authority allows the FDA to make certain medical products (such as vaccines and new treatments) available during public health emergencies. For the FDA to issue an EUA, safety and efficacy must be demonstrated, and certain criteria must be met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. More information is available at the FDA website

Can FDU legally require vaccinations for COVID-19 that only have an EUA?

The University carefully reviewed these considerations and believes its policy requiring vaccines with an EUA is consistent with current legal authorities. (Note: On August 23, the FDA announced that it had fully approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.)   

Where can students and other community members get vaccinated and how can an individual make a vaccine appointment?

We strongly urge all students, faculty and staff to get an appointment as soon as possible. All individuals aged 16 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
 

To register and learn more about making vaccine appointments, community members can consult the state’s website. In addition, FDU is working with regional health facilities (Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J., and Atlantic Health System in Morristown, N.J.) to facilitate vaccinations for students, faculty, and staff. You can register directly for either option. Go to the Holy Name Vaccine Registration Portal and, in the category of “Eligibility Information,” faculty, staff, and students should select “Educator/Childcare,” and then list Fairleigh Dickinson University as the organization. For Atlantic Health System, go to COVID-19 Vaccine – FDU – Atlantic Health

Do individuals have to pay to be vaccinated?

No. The New Jersey Department of Health has stated that no one will have to pay to be vaccinated. If you have health insurance your insurance company may be billed, but costs will not be passed along to you.

Does FDU conduct surveillance testing?   

COVID-19 surveillance testing is in place this academic year and will particularly focus on residential students and high-risk populations, including those participating in intercollegiate athletics, those not yet fully vaccinated, and those who have exemptions from the vaccine requirement. (Note: surveillance testing may include some fully vaccinated individuals depending on circumstances and conditions in our region.) 

What are the current guidelines for face coverings? 

In light of the recent surge due to the spread of the Delta variant, and as a result of the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of New Jersey, FDU now requires the use of face masks inside all buildings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Masks are not required when alone in an office or alone in a dorm suite or with roommates, and when actively eating and drinking. (Student athletes will follow NCAA masking guidance as communicated by their coaches.) Face coverings are also required in classrooms and instructional settings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. FDU strongly encourages unvaccinated persons to wear a mask outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.  

What is FDU’s definition of an outbreak that would trigger non-vaccinated students to leave campus?   

Outbreak is defined as an expanding number of COVID-19 cases over a short period of time from one source. This is dependent on the number of resident students and advice from the local health department.  

What are the consequences for those students who do not comply with the COVID-19 vaccination policy? (Effective as of October 14, 2021) 

Students who do not comply with the policy must be tested weekly on campus and are responsible for the costs of each weekly test, currently set at $75 per test. The costs will be added to the student’s account and, along with other charges, will result in a registration hold (and withholding of transcript) unless timely paid in full.   

Students will receive notice of location, dates, and times for COVID-19 testing. Students who fail to submit to testing without an excused absence will be subject to registration holds and other discipline, which may include fines, suspension and even possible de-enrollment.  

Weekly testing is not a substitute for vaccination. It is vital that all students taking in-person classes or participating in on-campus activities be vaccinated from COVID-19, except where an exemption has been granted by the University. Students who do not comply with the vaccination requirement will be subject to registration holds and the full range of disciplinary sanctions.   

Students who receive at least one dose of an FDA-authorized vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) are required to test weekly until they are fully vaccinated, but will not be charged for the cost of the tests so long as they follow through on obtaining any required second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna only; the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given in a single dose). Students who receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) must obtain the second dose as scheduled by the vaccine provider or they will be charged for the COVID-19 tests administered by FDU.  

Will students who are not fully vaccinated be permitted to attend FDU in the Spring 2022? (Effective December 5, 2021) 

As noted above, FDU requires all students who attend either the Metropolitan or Florham campuses to be fully vaccinated. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have elapsed after the final injection of vaccination authorized or approved by the FDA (or by the World Health Organization for certain international students). This requirement applies to all students who live, attend classes or engage in any in-person activities on campus. Students must provide proof of vaccination by uploading a copy of their vaccination card to Medicat, the University’s health information portal. FDU allows limited exemptions for religious and medical reasons.  

Students who have not uploaded verification of being fully vaccinated and have not been granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement will not be permitted to attend classes in person or take part in on-campus activities in the Spring 2022 semester. A registration hold will be placed on their accounts beginning Monday, December 5, 2021. Those who already registered for the spring semester will be de-enrolled from those classes.  

Those students will still be permitted to enroll in fully online courses, pending availability. If those students provide documentation of vaccination compliance (second shot of Moderna/Pfizer vaccine or single Johnson & Johnson shot must occur by January 10 to be fully vaccinated by the first day of classes on January 24), they may once again re-enroll in and attend in-person classes, depending upon availability.