Pfizer vaccine available on Queens campus

St. John’s University will be receiving vaccines next week according to an internal communication from Rev. Brian Shanley O.P. on April 21. The New York State Health Department has confirmed that St. John’s “will receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday, April 27.”

The vaccine will be distributed at the Queens campus free of charge. These doses will be made “available to students first.” These limited doses will be accessible to students from the Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island campuses as stated in an email from Student Affairs on April 16. 

Since the vaccine is available nationwide, the University “will require all students to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and, to provide proof of vaccination” come the fall semester. This does not apply to those students enrolled in a fully online program and have no in-person classes next semester.

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“The expanded availability of the COVID-19 vaccine enables St. John’s to take the necessary steps to protect the health of our academic community, and, to move toward a return to our pre-pandemic business operations as a vibrant living and learning institution,” Shanley wrote.

Per NYC guidelines, the Pfizer vaccine is now available for New York residents ages 16 and older. St. John’s is providing the first dose of the vaccine starting the week of April 26 and the second dose 21 days later, during the week of May 17 — one week after final exams. This might pose a challenge for some students who live out of state, as they will be required to return to the Queens campus for the second dose. According to NYC guidelines, the location of vaccine administration cannot be changed after the first dose is received. This is to ensure that individuals receive the correct second dose, since the vaccines are not interchangeable.

Student Affairs prepared a survey to “gauge the interest and availability of students who want to avail themselves of this potential opportunity to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” according to University Spokesperson Brian Browne.

Shanley stated that students can expect to receive an email later this week with “additional information about scheduling an appointment to receive a vaccine.”