Spring 2021 Semester COVID-19 Update

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May 5, 2021

Dear Berkeley College Community,

Welcome to the Spring 2021 semester! As more students, faculty, and staff members return to Berkeley College’s campuses, we wanted to provide you with several pertinent updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated guidance for those who are fully vaccinated, defined as:

  • It has been more than two weeks since you received your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; or
  • It has been more than two weeks since you received your first and only dose of Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

For example, the guidance states that fully vaccinated individuals can gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated without wearing a face mask/covering or staying six feet apart. Additionally, they can generally gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask/covering except in certain crowded settings and venues.

An infographic on indoor/outdoor masking activities for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can be found here. Importantly, the CDC reminds those who receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine that both doses are needed for the most protection.

Please note: Berkeley’s masking protocols remain unchanged at this time. To review the College’s latest Restart Plans, visit the Berkeley College COVID-19 webpage.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

After a temporary pause, the CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended the continued use of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen COVID-19 vaccine:

“A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks. However, women under 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of the adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen. CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines.”

Out of more than 8 million J&J vaccine doses distributed in the United States by April 23, 2021, there were 15 reports of women who received the vaccine and later developed TTS. More information is available on the CDC website.

Vaccination Eligibility Updates

All New York and New Jersey adults ages 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which is free of charge to you. According to the CDC, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for those ages 16 and older while the Moderna and J&J vaccines are recommended for those ages 18 and older. Please discuss any questions you may have with your health care provider.

At the end of April, New York State announced that all of its mass vaccination sites will be open to eligible New Yorkers for walk-in vaccinations on a first-come, first-serve basis for first doses only. For a list of the 16 mass vaccination sites in New York by region, please click here. If you prefer other locations, please visit the New York vaccine eligibility website.

New Jersey residents can visit the state’s COVID-19 vaccination website for information on participating locations. If you live outside of NY/NJ, please visit this CDC listing of state health departments across the United States for more information on COVID-19 vaccines in your state.

All of us wish you a safe and successful semester.


COVID-19 Task Force