New York state has named Ithaca College, Cornell University and Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) as COVID-19 vaccination sites.
Currently, it is unknown whether Ithaca College will receive a shipment of vaccines to distribute to students, faculty and staff. Tompkins County spokesperson Dominick Recckio said via email that the county has not received information on how to move forward with additional vaccine sites at the colleges. It is also unknown if the colleges are able to administer the vaccine to the public beyond their campus communities.
Christina Moylan, director of public health emergency preparedness, said that the college does have a plan to set up a vaccination clinic on campus but that it is waiting for more information and guidance from the state. She said the college has made a request for vaccines, but has not been informed if the vaccines will be provided.
“We’ve put into place the steps to be able to provide the vaccine or to do our own vaccine clinic on campus,” Moylan said.
Moylan also said it would be beneficial for the college to have the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine as opposed to the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. People who get the Moderna vaccine are supposed to wait 28 days before their second shot, and those who get the Pfizer shot wait 21 days.
President Shirley M. Collado said in an email to the campus community April 7 that students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to return to campus for Fall 2021. Religious and medical exemptions for the vaccine will be honored, Collado said.
“I am announcing this intention in a moment marked by the widespread rollout of vaccination and promising data regarding its efficacy,” she said.
Collado said with most of the campus community being vaccinated, the risk of spreading COVID-19 among the campus is diminished.
Cornell University announced April 2 that students returning to all Cornell campuses for Fall 2021 are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced March 29 that vaccine eligibility would open to New York residents ages 16 and up starting April 6. Students can make vaccine appointments through New York state at a state vaccination site or put their names on the Tompkins County Vaccine Registry to be notified of available appointments. Students can also look for appointments at Kinney Drugs, Wegmans, Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy.
Students do not need to fill out the Emergency Travel Request form if they are only leaving the county for a few hours to receive a vaccine. Students who are staying outside of the county overnight must still submit the form. After vaccination, students should submit a copy of the vaccination card to the Hammond Health Center to update health records.
The college currently has three active COVID-19 cases — one residential student, one off-campus student and one staff member. In the county, there are 113 active cases as of April 6. As of April 6, 33.8% of the New York state population has had their first dose of the vaccine and 21.2% has had both doses of the vaccine.