UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – Now that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by the FDA, SUNY Oneonta will begin requiring all students to be vaccinated by Sept 27.

“With the FDA approvals, we were able to activate the SUNY mandate that all students will require vaccination within 35 days,” Richard E. Lee, Provost/ VP for Academic Affairs at SUNY Oneonta said.

The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine on Aug 23, the first day of classes for students. Students are given 35 days to receive their vaccines as per SUNY’s COVID-19 mandate. Vaccination rates are looking good so far, as 91% of residential and off-campus students are fully or partially vaccinated. 97% of residential students are partially or fully vaccinated, and 85% of off-campus students are fully or partially vaccinated, 3% of the population has applied for or been granted religious or medical exemptions.

“What we have is a community that is committed to trying to do it well,” Lee said. “Vaccination and full masking that is the protocol, not just vaccination.”

Masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus regardless of vaccination status, masks will still be required for the time being even when everyone is fully vaccinated as the school’s COVID Response Team monitors the situation.

“We’re a residential campus,” Lee said. “We prioritize the in-person student experience and we’re doing everything we can, and I’ll add this last piece, to make sure that we don’t assume that full vaccination means complete safety.”

The school is also providing vaccines on campus for students.