Hannah Rosenberg/Sun Photography Editor

A Cornell COVID vaccine site at Bartels on April 23, 2021.

November 28, 2021

Cornell Delays Vaccine Mandate for Faculty and Staff to January

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The University has granted a one-month extension to faculty and staff to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. 

Before the extension, on-campus staff were expected to receive their vaccination by Dec. 8.

Employees now have until Jan. 18 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to get a University-approved medical or religious exemption. This applies to all employees on Cornell’s Ithaca, Geneva, New York City and other campuses

The announcement comes after the federal government extended the deadline on its earlier vaccine mandate for all federal employees. Following pressure from labor unions to extend the deadline due to a labor shortage in multiple sectors, the federal government announced the extension on Nov. 4. 

An initial executive order in September 2021 mandated the vaccine for all federal employees, and the University followed suit, citing its involvement in multiple federal contracts. 

“The university has numerous federal contracts that are covered by the provisions in the executive order, therefore the university requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Cornell’s COVID-19 Response website reads. 

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also now expanded eligibility for the COVID booster dose to all individuals over the age of 18, to be taken six months after receiving their second dose, the University is not mandating a booster at this time. However, the University encourages all members of the Cornell community to consider receiving a booster once eligible. 

As of Nov. 28, 97 percent of Cornell’s on-campus population is fully vaccinated. Out of this population, 100 percent of faculty, 99 percent of undergraduates and graduate students, and 93 percent of other employees are fully vaccinated.