International Student and Employee COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The University looks forward to welcoming international students and employees to campus this fall. Many individuals have reached out to us with questions regarding the University’s recent announcement that students will be expected to be fully immunized against COVID-19 before the fall semester begins and that employees are highly encouraged to be vaccinated. The following are some frequently asked questions about this requirement that we have already received. 

What does "fully immunized for COVID" mean?

According to the University, an individual is not considered to be fully immunized for COVID unless they meet all of the following requirements:

  • Received the final dose of an approved COVID vaccine more than 14 days ago; AND
  • Have uploaded evidence of vaccination status to MyUHS (graduate and undergraduate students) or VacStatus (employees and affiliates) and had that evidence verified.
  • If you do not meet all of these requirement by the time of your arrival and you are coming from an international destination, you should follow the instructions below to complete the COVID Risk Assessment Form in the week before coming to campus and expect that you may need to quarantine for 10 days when you arrive. 

Which COVID vaccines are accepted by the University as proof of being fully immunized? 

At present, the University is accepting those vaccines authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), as well as those authorized by the World Health Organization EUL. The following COVID vaccines are being accepted:

  • FDA-Authorized: Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
  • WHO EUL-Authorized: AstraZeneca/Oxford (SK-BIO, Covishield, Vaxzevria), Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV) and Sinovac (CoronaVac) 

We anticipate that other vaccines available internationally may become authorized before the August 1st deadline. International students who provide documentation through the MyUHS portal of an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine will not need to be vaccinated again upon arrival. International employees who provide documentation through VacStatus of an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine will also not need to be vaccinated again, and will be considered to be adequately vaccinated by the University. We will make determinations on questions regarding accepting other vaccines as more information is available. Updated guidance will be provided throughout the summer.

If I am a student who has received a COVID vaccine which has not been authorized by the FDA or the WHO, will I need to be reimmunized? What if I am unable to receive a COVID vaccine at all prior to the August 1st deadline?

Students who are abroad and are unable to obtain an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine before leaving for Princeton may receive an FDA-authorized vaccine when they arrive in the United States. If you are unsure whether you can receive an approved vaccine before returning to campus for the fall semester, please email myuhs@princeton.edu so that UHS can work with you to receive the vaccine once you arrive in Princeton. We do not yet know whether we will have COVID-19 vaccines available on-campus, but we anticipate that vaccines will be easily accessible to the campus community.

For those students who are unable to receive an FDA or WHO-authorized vaccine, University Health Services intends to extend a grace period, subject to evolving public health guidelines. More information will be provided closer to the fall.

Is it safe to take an FDA-authorized COVID vaccine series if I have already received a different COVID vaccine that has not been authorized by the FDA?

There is no known harm from taking additional COVID vaccines if already immunized with a different COVID vaccine. In addition, experience from other vaccines reveals no concerns with safety in receiving vaccines from two different manufacturers.

Will I need to quarantine if I come to campus without being fully vaccinated? 

If you are a student arriving from an international location and are not fully vaccinated, you may need to quarantine for 10 days upon your arrival at Princeton. You must complete the COVID Risk Assessment Form 3-7 business days before your arrival on campus. The Global and Community Health Team will advise you whether quarantine will be required. Required quarantine may impact your ability to attend in-person on-campus events, so you should plan your arrival time accordingly.

If I am an international student or a newly-arriving international employee, how can I get vaccinated locally as soon as possible?

International students and newly-arriving international employees should make every effort to complete their vaccine series once they arrive in the U.S.  You may schedule an appointment using the following resources:

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Please reach out to covidvaccines@princeton.edu  at any time if you have other questions or wish for any clarifications. 

Updated July 1, 2021