Requests For Immunization Exemptions or Extensions
Update (4/12/2023): The exemption process is currently being reviewed given the updated SUNY COVID mandate for students.
You may request consideration for a limited exemption from an immunization requirement for medical and/or religious reasons. Exemption requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis; they are NOT automatically granted. If you are granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be required to follow the guidelines for unvaccinated students, which may include participating in surveillance testing.
Requests for exemptions must be written and signed by you if you are 18 years of age or older, or a parent or guardian if you are under the age of 18.
Important notice for students considering an exemption request: Due to the Department of Health vaccine mandate which requires vaccines for individuals in healthcare facilities, the review of your exemption request includes consideration of the location (West Campus, East Campus/Health Sciences Center, and/or Southampton Campus) of your courses. Should you apply and be approved for an exemption to enroll in in-person classes ONLY on the West campus, and then wish to apply to or enroll in a course, program, major, minor, or other course of study at the Health Sciences Center (HSC), you must submit a supplemental review in advance of application deadlines or registration periods to the Office of Equity & Access. Approved exemption requests are subject to change based upon developing case law, emergency regulations, or other additional relevant information. A medical exemption granted by Stony Brook does not guarantee medical exemptions from external agencies that serve as clinical sites. Students are expected to abide by the regulations of individual clinical sites. Students who are not vaccinated risk loss of placements and delays or ability to complete clinical programs.
Medical Exemption Requests:
If you are requesting a medical exemption for Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), please email firstname.lastname@example.org from your Stony Brook email for further instruction.
If you are requesting an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical reasons, you must submit the Medical Exemption Request Form to the Wolfie Health Portal as soon as possible but no later than Monday, July 31, 2023 at 5pm EST for consideration for the Fall 2023 semester. Note that requests submitted after July 31 that are denied may not provide sufficient time for you to be fully vaccinated in order to attend Fall 2023 classes. Exemptions will only be considered if they are submitted on the Stony Brook University Medical Exemption Request Form. This form includes a certification from a licensed healthcare provider such as a Medical Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant identifying the medical contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine. The document must be signed by the licensed healthcare provider and include the provider’s contact information.
Reasons for considering a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine include:
- Documented history of severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components.
Examples of conditions that are NOT considered for a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine include:
- History of COVID-19 infection or positive antibody screen is not considered a substitute for vaccination.
- History of severe allergic reactions to foods, latex, pets, insects, and environmental triggers.
- Fear of needles.
- History of vaccine side effects (including vasovagal reaction) or general avoidance of vaccines.
- Autoimmune conditions, being an immunocompromised individual and receiving immunosuppressive medication.
- The medical condition of a family member or others residing in the same household as the employee.
- Alpha-gal syndrome
- Pregnancy, undergoing fertility treatment, intention to become pregnant or currently breastfeeding (Please note the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine all strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy).
Student Health Services will communicate decisions of medical exemptions to your Stony Brook email address within five business days of submission to the Wolfie Health Portal. For any students not approved for a medical exemption, proof of full COVID vaccination is required to be submitted to the Wolfie Health Portal by Friday, August 25, 2023 in order to register for and attend in-person Fall 2023 classes.
Religious Exemption Requests:
If you hold a genuine and sincere religious belief that is contrary to the COVID-19 vaccination or the MMR Immunization, you may request an exemption by filling out the COVID-19 Vaccine Religious Exemption Online Form or MMR Immunization Religious Accommodation Request Form, which will be submitted to the Office of Equity & Access for review.
NOTE: The statement for students over 18 years of age should be submitted to the Office of Equity and Access before the given deadline for the upcoming semester; students under 18 years of age must also include a signature from their parent or guardian. The Office of Equity and Access will thoroughly review all requests for religious exemptions and, based on their evaluation, either approve or deny the exemption.
New Students: If you are a new student starting classes in the Fall 2023 semester, please submit as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, July 31 at 5 PM EST.
Returning Students: Please submit as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, May 1 at 5pm EST for consideration for the Summer or Fall 2023 semester.
Please note that written submissions will not be accepted; you must use the online form for consideration.
In your statement, please explain how receiving the COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with your sincerely held religious belief or practice. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact OEA at email@example.com.
The Office of Equity & Access will communicate decisions of religious exemptions to your Stony Brook email address within ten business days of submission.
For any students not approved for a religious exemption, proof of full COVID vaccination is required to be submitted to the Wolfie Health Portal by Friday, August 25, 2023 in order to register for and attend in-person Fall 2023 classes.
What happens if I am approved for a medical or religious exemption?
If you are granted an exemption, that approval continues as long as you are an enrolled Stony Brook student.
It is your responsibility to follow any health and safety guidelines required by Stony Brook University, including surveillance testing, as long as you remain unvaccinated or are not yet fully vaccinated (less than two weeks post-completion of vaccination or vaccination series). It is also your responsibility to upload proof of vaccination to the Wolfie Health Portal if your vaccination status changes.
No remote learning options are available for students who do not want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of any courses already offered remotely that have available seats. Students may not request a change in course modality to avoid receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, and faculty will not accommodate such requests received.