COVID-19 information and updates. More Info

Student Vaccine Protocol

Effective August 6, 2021

Niagara University, as a Vincentian and Catholic University, is committed to maintaining a healthy environment for all students and employees. All that we have accomplished as a community in the past 18 months reflects a commitment to the health of our community, and we collectively took a litany of steps this past academic year to minimize disruption while striving for the lowest possible levels of COVID-19 infections. We remain committed to a basic principle that maintaining the lowest possible levels of COVID-19 is critical for Niagara University and the surrounding community. As the pandemic is constantly changing and shifting, and in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community (and hopefully to avoid the significant disruption that would be caused by a COVID-19 outbreak on our campuses), we are taking additional measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19, including the implementation of a vaccination requirement for academic year 21-22 (subject to the exemptions explained below).
Niagara University will require that all students who are attending classes, labs, or will be on campus for any other reason, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, 2021. Students must complete and provide documentation of at least one dose of two-dose vaccination series by September 3, 2021. Prior to becoming fully vaccinated, students must wear masks indoors in public spaces (i.e., classrooms, the library, and lower level Gallagher), and any student who is approved for an exemption must continue to wear a mask on campus while in public spaces. Students must upload their documentation of complete vaccination to the University’s Medicat portal no later than Friday, October 1, 2021, unless an exemption from this policy has been granted. Acceptable proof shall include a written certification of vaccination, such as a CDC or Ontario approved vaccination card or medical documentation showing the date and type of vaccine administered.

Students will use their Niagara University network credentials to log in to the Medicat portal to enter information and upload documents and forms as necessary.
Failure to provide proof of full vaccination by October 1, 2021 or proof of exemption shall result in a student record hold that may lead to deregistration.

Continuing COVID-19 Protocols

While this Vaccination Requirement is a key part of our overall strategy and commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it is intended to supplement, and not replace, the other COVID-19 prevention measures that may be in effect or come into effect as directed by NYSDOH, Niagara County Department of Health, Public Health Agency of Canada or York Region Public Health, for example. The University needs everyone’s full cooperation and compliance with this and other health and safety workplace policies to make them effective and to keep our students on campus without disruption to their educational experience at Niagara.

Online Program Students

Students enrolled in exclusive online graduate programs and who will not be on campus (e.g., no residency requirement, no immersion experience, no fieldwork, no campus-based courses/jobs/services) in the fall 2021 semester, do not need to provide proof of vaccination to remain enrolled in the online program.

However, any student enrolled in a graduate online program with clinical requirements, fieldwork, or on-campus immersion components must provide proof of full vaccination at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the on-campus or community activities identified above. As previously communicated, clinical sites all independently require vaccination – and do NOT recognize any exemptions. In other words, if you have an exemption that permits you to be on campus, that does NOT also allow you to participate in a clinical where the third-party clinical site requires universal vaccination by clinical participants.

Exemption Requests

Exemption requests must be received no later than Friday, September 3, 2021 and will be considered as set forth below. Please note, however, that the University reserves the right to take any necessary and appropriate steps, including imposing alternative COVID-19 prevention measures (such as requiring the continued wearing of face coverings or masks and participation in routine COVID-19 testing), to ensure the health or safety of themselves or others on campus.

If students believe they need an exemption from this policy, please contact the Office of Student Affairs (sclemons@niagara.edu).
Eligible Exemptions

Determinations

The University makes determinations about requested exemptions on a case-by-case basis considering various factors and based on an individualized assessment in each situation. The University strives to make these determinations expeditiously and in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner and will communicate in a timely fashion.

Religious Beliefs

The University provides exemptions to students with sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, or practices that conflict with getting vaccinated. Requests will require completion of a Request for Religious Immunization Exemption Form and submission of appropriate supporting documentation.

Please note that philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to immunizations will not justify an exemption from this policy.
Medical Reasons

Exemptions for medical reasons may be available on a case-by-case basis [e.g., severe or immediate allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the vaccine]. Such requests will require the completion of a Request for Medical Immunization Exemption Form and the submission of appropriate supporting documentation.