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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Introduction 

To minimize outbreaks of COVID-19 within the TCNJ community, prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and to promote the public health of the community, TCNJ continues to REQUIRE that all students complete COVID-19 primary series vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO)A primary series vaccination series is defined as 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) vaccine, or completing the primary doses of international WHO-authorized vaccines.

The decision to continue this requirement for the Fall 2023 semester will be made before March 1, 2023. 

Where to get vaccinated

  • To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you: Search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are provided free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Due date
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination has the same due date as other TCNJ pre-entrance health requirements for students entering or re-entering TCNJ for the Spring 2023 semester. Due dates are posted at https://health.tcnj.edu/new-students/.

Booster doses
It is strongly recommended that students receive their booster dose of COVID vaccine when it is time and upload the record to OWL. Please see booster shot information on the CDC website

Acceptable Documentation of COVID-19 Vaccination

  • The following documents will be accepted as evidence of COVID-19 vaccination provided that the type of acceptable COVID-19 vaccine and the date each dose of vaccine was administered is listed:
    • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card
    • Docket™ immunization record screenshot – must include your name on the record
    • An official record of COVID-19 vaccination from the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) or other State immunization registry.
    • A record of COVID-19 vaccination on office letterhead signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, registered nurse or pharmacist.
    • A military immunization or health record from the United States Armed Forces documenting COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Students who were vaccinated in New Jersey and have misplaced their COVID-19 vaccination card can obtain their vaccination record by visiting the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS). Students who were vaccinated outside of New Jersey can refer to that State’s COVID-19 website for instructions.

Exemptions

TCNJ will consider applications from students for exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement as described below. 

  • Medical Exemption: A student may be considered for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if they have a medical contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination and if failure to receive this immunization does not prevent the fulfillment of the essential functions and/or curricular requirements of the academic program. Conditions comprising valid medical contraindications to vaccine administration are those set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To apply for a medical exemption, a physician licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy, or an advanced practice nurse, in any jurisdiction of the U.S., or in any foreign country, must complete the COVID-19 VACCINE MEDICAL EXEMPTION FORM.
  • Religious Exemption: A student may be considered for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if the student provides a written signed statement explaining HOW immunization conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs or practices (source: N.J.A.C. 8:57-6:15). A general philosophical or moral exemption to the vaccination will not be sufficient for an exemption on religious grounds

Requests for exemption must be uploaded to the Online Wellness Link (OWL) by the pre-entrance health requirements’ due date. Select “COVID-19 Vaccination Record” as the document to be uploaded and email health@tcnj.edu that you have submitted an exemption request.  All other health requirements must be met before an exemption request is sent for review. Exemption requests that are emailed, mailed or brought in person to Student Health Services will NOT be reviewed. 

All exemption-related documents will become part of the student’s immunization/vaccination record and, if approved, will be reviewed periodically by the director of Student Health Services to determine whether the exemption shall remain in effect and whether restrictions shall apply. When an exemption no longer exists, the student must then comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Past History of COVID-19 Infection and Antibody Test Results

  • A past history of COVID-19 infection does not exempt a student from the vaccination requirement. However, students emailing health@tcnj.edu and then uploading a record to OWL showing that they recently (within 3 months) tested positive for COVID-19 using an antigen or PCR test can qualify for a vaccination extension for up to 3 months from the date the student tested positive.  
  • A positive antibody test does not exempt a student from the vaccination requirement. Antibody test results should not be used to decide if you need a COVID-19 vaccine or a vaccine booster. Information about the value and limitations of antibody testing can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website

Informative Resources

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