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Rutgers international students can now fulfill vaccine requirement with WHO-approved vaccines

International students who have not been vaccinated can receive the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine upon entering the country.  – Photo by Steven Cornfield / Unsplash

International students who have already received a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be able to attend school this fall, Rutgers officials said in a recent University-wide email.

The University previously stated it would require all students to specifically get a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine to fulfill their vaccination requirement, but now it will also accept those other than the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for international students so long as they are approved by the WHO.

International students not currently in the U.S. who plan on returning to campus for the fall will be given the opportunity to get vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine upon their return to the U.S., according to the updated guidance.

"(Rutgers) will continue to monitor the effectiveness of WHO-approved vaccines and the safety/effectiveness of boosting with an FDA-approved vaccine as more vaccination data become available," said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Salvador B. Mena and Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health & Wellness Francesca M. Maresca.

When the vaccine mandate was announced in March, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio M. Calcado said the University was still unsure of how to proceed with international students who received a vaccine not yet approved by the FDA, The Daily Targum previously reported. 

International students should contact International Student & Scholar Services for additional details regarding vaccination and returning to campus, the officials said, according to the email.

All students are required to be fully vaccinated and upload their documentation by Aug. 1 in order to return to campus this fall, according to the email. In order to meet this deadline, students receiving the Moderna vaccine must have their first dose by July 3, while students receiving the Pfizer vaccine have until July 10. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose.

Students can get vaccinated on-campus, or find an appointment in New Jersey or in other states free of charge.

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