COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information


Effective August 1, 2021, Teachers College is requiring all new and returning students, staff, and faculty, as well as TC affiliates living in campus housing, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Read this page for more information about submitting your proof of COVID-19 vaccination, TC’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, and answers to frequently asked questions.

How to Submit Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

TC's Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Form is accessible when you are logged into your myTC account, either from your internet browser or via the myTC app. You will be asked to provide proof of vaccination when completing the form. 

As part of the campus access requirements, you must complete this form at least 10 business days prior to your arrival on campus. Please read all instructions in the form carefully. It is important for the College to be able to verify vaccination status of all individuals within the community so we are able to implement the public health requirements and make informed decisions about safe campus operations. TC continues to actively monitor public health guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will update vaccine policy and campus access requirements as these guidelines change.

List of Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines (as of September 20, 2021):

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
  • Astrazeneca-SK Bio
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • COVISHIELD

Submit Your Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Form

Instructions for submitting your request

  1. Read the Vaccine Attestation statement:
    • I have received COVID-19 vaccination and attest that the information and documentation I submit on this form is accurate and authentic, and pertains to myself,
    • I understand that knowingly submitting false statements, falsifying documentation, or purposefully omitting information on this form may result in disciplinary action,
    • I understand that I must be “Fully Vaccinated” before entering campus.

      Have you been Fully Vaccinated? Click here to read the CDC definition of what it means to be “fully vaccinated”.
  2. Select the role that best describes you (Student, Employee, or Housing Affiliate)
    Select the “Student” role if: 
    • You are a Student
    • You are a College Work-study Student or Student Worker
    • You are a Part-time Employee who is also a Student
  3. Select the "Employee" role if:
    • Employee (Faculty, Staff)
    • You are a Full-time Employee who is also a Student
  4. Select "Affiliate" if you are:
    • TC Housing Affiliate

  5. Select the vaccine type you received. Only vaccines listed will be accepted. If your vaccine is not listed you will not be approved to enter campus.

  6. Enter the date(s) of your vaccine. Vaccine dates must match the date on your vaccination document.

  7. Upload your vaccination document. Acceptable proof of vaccination include the following:
    • CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Card
    • World Health Organization (WHO) Vaccine Booklet
    • Documentation provided by a health care professional/organization/ country

All documentation must be submitted in English or accompanied by a certified translation (at your own expense). Verification of documentation is at the sole discretion of Teachers College. Additional information or documentation may be requested and if requested must be provided in order to verify a submission.

According to the CDC, individuals who received a full series of a vaccine currently authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

For individuals who were partially vaccinated with a WHO-authorized vaccine or who were vaccinated with a vaccine not authorized for emergency use by the WHO, a full series of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine can be administered with a minimal interval of 28-days post vaccination with a non-FDA-authorized vaccine.

It is TC's intention to follow CDC guidance regarding individuals who may need additional vaccination in order to meet Columbia’s vaccination mandate for the Fall semester.

Processing of Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

You will receive an email to confirm whether your proof of vaccination form was accepted or rejected. The Office of Student Health & Wellness will notify students and the Office of Human Resources will notify employees and TC affiliates. Verification of documentation is at the sole discretion of the College. Additional information or documentation may be requested and, if requested, must be provided in order to verify a submission. 

After 10 business days, if you have not received an email and are unsure if your proof of vaccination form has been accepted, take the Daily Health Screening. Upon completion of the screening, you will receive a "green check" if your form was approved and a "red check" if it was rejected, along with an explanation for why it was rejected.

Approval of Vaccination Record

If your vaccination submission record is accepted and you have completed all other tasks on the campus access requirement checklist including the Daily Health Screening, you may proceed to campus when you receive a “green check” after submitting the Daily Health Screening.

Green Check Box

Rejection of Vaccination Record

If your vaccination submission record is rejected you will be notified, and subsequently will receive a red X on the Daily Health Screening, denying campus entry.

Red Check Box

Reasons for a rejected vaccination record:

  • Vaccination dates do not match the dates on your document
  • You have not been fully vaccinated as per CDC guidelines
  • Your document is not legible
  • Your document does not fit into the list of acceptable proof of vaccination  
  • Your document is not translated into English

If you have any issues with the Daily Health Screening, including if you need further explanation for why your proof of vaccination form was rejected, you MUST open a ticket with TC IT. To do this email servicedesk@tc.columbia.edu.

Requesting a COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption

In accordance with New York State public health laws, the College will allow for medical and religious exemptions from TC’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The College will also allow for exemptions from TC’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Students, employees, and TC housing affiliates who cannot be vaccinated for COVID-19 because of a medical reason, a sincerely held religious belief, their pregnancy status or because they are currently breastfeeding may request an exemption through the College. To request an exemption, please (1) complete the applicable exemption request below and (2) submit the request to the TC COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request Form at least 15 business days prior to the day of planned campus access.

  1. Complete the applicable exemption request form
    Student requests for:



    Employee and TC Housing Affiliate requests for:




    Once you have filled out your request, save it and upload it to the vaccination exemption request form in step 2.

  2. Submit exemption request form

    TC COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request Form

    This form may be accessed when you are logged into your myTC account, either via your internet browser or in the myTC App. Requests will not be considered if documentation is incomplete. Once your completed request is reviewed, you will receive a determination notification to your TC email.

General COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Vaccine Distribution through Columbia Health

Columbia University is currently operating seven locations that provide vaccinations to Columbia affiliates, five of which can offer vaccines to their family members, as well as to other patients, as long as they are a resident of the United States.

Morningside campus appointments at Lerner Hall (2920 Broadway) are available to students, faculty and staff, and can be made through Columbia Health. You can book an appointment via the scheduling section of the Columbia Health Patient Portal. All appointments are considered tentative and subject to vaccine availability. Walk-in appointments may also be available.

We also encourage you to check Columbia’s COVID-19 website for updates.

Vaccine Distribution in the Tri-state area

Vaccine Distribution Elsewhere in the U.S.

Visit the CDC’s “How Do I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine?” page to find vaccination sites in other regions of the U.S.

International Vaccine Distribution 

TC will accept proof of any vaccination that has received authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Please consult your local government website to find a vaccination site near you.

Vaccine booster shots

As of September 2021, COVID-19 Vaccine booster shots are available for the following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients who completed their initial series at least 6 months ago:

  • 65 years and older
  • 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • 18+ who work in high-risk settings
  • 18+ who live in high-risk settings

TC strongly recommends eligible community members to follow CDC guidelines and get a booster shot if you are eligible. Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccine site near you.

If booster shots become available for additional vaccines, we will update the information contained here.

Instructions for submitting your request

  1. Read the submission instructions on the form
  2. Select the role that best describes you (Student, Employee, or Housing Affiliate)
    Select the “Student” role if: 
    • You are a Student
    • You are a College Work-study Student or Student Worker
    • You are a Part-time Employee who is also a Student
  3. Select the "Employee" role if:
    • Employee (Faculty, Staff)
    • You are a Full-time Employee who is also a Student
  4. Select "Affiliate" if you are:
    • TC Housing Affiliate

  5. Select the type of COVID-19 vaccination exemption you are applying for.

  6. Upload your COVID-19 vaccination exemption request document.

  7. All documentation must be submitted in English or accompanied by a certified translation (at your own expense). Verification of documentation is at the sole discretion of Teachers College. Additional information or documentation may be requested and, if requested, must be provided in order to verify a submission.

FAQ’s for International Students & Staff in International Locations

We strongly recommend that all individuals, students and employees in international contexts be vaccinated as soon as possible and receive the full dose series for optimal protection. Vaccines authorized by the U.S. FDA or by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be acceptable.

According to the CDC, individuals who received a full series of a vaccine currently authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

For individuals who were partially vaccinated with a WHO-authorized vaccine or who were vaccinated with a vaccine not authorized for emergency use by the WHO, a full series of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine can be administered with a minimal interval of 28-days post vaccination with a non-FDA-authorized vaccine.

It is TC’s intention to follow CDC guidance regarding individuals who may need additional vaccination in order to meet the vaccination mandate for the Fall semester.

 

Effective August 1, 2021, all new and returning students, staff, faculty, and TC housing affiliates must be fully vaccinated in order to access campus for the fall 2021 semester. All individuals who plan to access campus on or after August 1 must submit proof of vaccination no later than 10 days in advance of the date which they plan to access campus. In accordance with New York State public health laws, the College will accommodate religious and medical exemptions, as we do for other vaccines.

Yes, students or employees taking classes virtually or working remotely are still required to get vaccinated.

We will accept evidence of vaccination that has received authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Yes, vaccinations will be available to anyone who has been unable to get vaccinated internationally. Vaccination must be obtained at the earliest opportunity upon arrival in the United States. Students and staff must time their arrival so that they are fully vaccinated at least 10 days prior to the start of the semester.

No. Try to get vaccinated as soon as possible in your home country in order to protect you, your family and community from COVID-19.

We strongly urge you to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as there may be additional requirements you have to meet if you arrive on campus unvaccinated.

Students, faculty, and staff, are expected to complete the vaccination requirement at least 10 days prior to their return to campus, and will be restricted from accessing campus if they have not complied with the requirement.  But this process must be timed and scheduled. We will assist international students in this situation so that they can access TC residences immediately, but will be required to comply with additional precautions (such as weekly  testing) until they are fully vaccinated.

 

TC has a process for requesting medical or religious exemptions as well as exemptions based on pregnancy status or if you are currently breastfeeding. See Religious & Medical Exemptions and Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Exemptions.

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination.  However you will not be able to attend in-person classes if you are not fully vaccinated at least 10 days prior to the start of the Fall semester.

You will not know who is and who is not vaccinated; however, students will not be allowed on campus unless they have met the vaccine requirement or have received a religious or medical exemption.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has advised that employers may require COVID-19 vaccinations, provided that we offer exemptions to individuals with (i) disabilities that prevent COVID-19 vaccination and (ii) sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent COVID-19 vaccination. Employers may also request that an employee provide proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination to ensure that employees have received the vaccine.

The EEOC guidance takes into account the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are currently subject to Emergency Use Authorization.  Some COVID-19 vaccines may only be available to the public for the foreseeable future under Emergency Use Authorization granted by the Food and Drug Administration.  The FDA requires vaccine providers to give each individual receiving the vaccine the information contained in the Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers.  Teachers College complies with these obligations. 

The HIPAA privacy rule is not implicated in our process. Teachers College will follow best practices and comply with applicable laws in maintaining privacy and security with respect to vaccination status.

If you are an international student, contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at  tcintl@tc.columbia.edu. They will be able to review options for your enrollment and visa status for the Fall semester.

Please contact CovidStudentCare@tc.columbia.edu with any other questions you may have about the vaccine mandate.

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