College students graduating this spring of 2023 are likely the last batch of students that truly remember what college life was like 'pre-pandemic.' For most of these students, they entered their first year of college in fall 2019, got a taste of what a busy campus with activities and events was like, never knowing that would truly be the only semester of 'college normal' they would get to experience during their tenure as an undergraduate student.

From masking, to virtual events, quarantine and isolation spaces to mandatory vaccinations and testing requirements, higher education has been a wild ride (just as most other areas of education) over the past several years, but a recent announcement from the SUNY system appears to be a sign of moving forward.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

SUNY Announces End of the Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

After the declaration last week from President Biden that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the SUNY (State University of New York) system followed up with their own announcement regarding vaccine mandates.

Holiday Surge At Covid Testing Sites Subsides, Even As Omicron Continues Its Spread
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SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr., in an announcement on April 11th, stated the following:

The safety of SUNY’s students is our first and foremost priority, and while COVID is no longer an emergency, we will not lose sight of the impact it continues to have on us. Across SUNY we will continue to monitor cases and make adjustments as needed, but even more importantly, we will look to increase the overall health and wellness support we provide our students.

Though COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be required, they will be strongly encouraged for  students, faculty and staff. This, similar to other viruses that encourage regular vaccines.

The SUNY Chancellor made the decision in collaboration with SUNY's Public Health Expert Advisory Committee and NY State health officials.

SUNY did say they will continue to stay on top of local conditions and ' examine COVID-19 data and update its policy as needed based on local conditions or in response to requirements imposed by federal, state, or local authorities.'

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State University of New York Statistics

SUNY is home to 64 campuses across the state, the most local to the Hudson Valley include SUNY Adirondack, Columbia Greene Community College Dutchess Community College, Community College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Orange, Rockland Community College, SUNY Ulster, Westchester Community College.

Allard1 / ThinkstockPhotos
Allard1 / ThinkstockPhotos

According to the press release shared by SUNY on April 11th, and not surprising, the majority of students enrolled in SUNY schools across the state are New Yorkers, and statistics show that approximately 77.5% of them (in the 18-25 year old range) have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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