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SUNY lifts COVID-19 vaccine policy ahead of summer session

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media

After nearly two years, SUNY is dropping its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students. During a recent visit to SUNY Oswego, SUNY Chancellor John King said the decision followed a similar process to the initial implementation of the policy — consulting health experts.

“We went back to the committee of public health experts, asked for their advice on how we should proceed and they recommended that we strongly recommend the vaccine but not require it, so that is the policy that we have implemented,” King said.

King says conditions have changed since the vaccination policy was first implemented.

“When the COVID mandate was put in place, it was based on recommendations from public health experts at the time,” King said. “Obviously the COVID situation has evolved significantly since then.”

The end of the emergency vaccination policy begins with the start of summer courses, coinciding with the end of the United States’ COVID-19 national emergency. King says both the lifting of the national emergency and the SUNY vaccination policy are indicators of the changes in the COVID-19 situation.

“I think that is a reflection that we are at a different point in the pandemic today,” King said.

King says even with the lifting of the vaccination mandate, SUNY institutions should remain prepared for changes in policy.

“We want to make sure that the institutions are carefully monitoring conditions and there may need to be changes over time based on how conditions change,” King said.

King says the main concern when making any decision regarding COVID-19 is SUNY students and faculty members.

“Our priority of course is to make sure that we protect the safety of our students and staff,” King said.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.