St. John’s and NYU are the latest universities in the area to announce that students will need to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall. 

"The ongoing risk of serious health consequences for anyone who contracts COVID-19, along with the greater public health threat, are but two strong reasons in favor of getting vaccinated,” said Rev. Brian Shanley, O.P. president of the university in a statement. “The well-being and safety of you—our students, faculty, administrators, and staff—is always the highest priority of St. John's, and is my foremost daily prayer for you all.”

St. John's said students will be able to opt out of the requirement for medical or religious reasons.

The two schools join other area universities, including Columbia and Fordham, in requiring students to get the shot.

“Our goal is simple and twofold: to provide a COVID-safe environment in which our students, faculty, and staff can pursue our mission; and to help protect the health and safety of our off-campus neighbors,” Fordham University said in a statement. 

The schools said students can get vaccinated on campus, but would prefer they do it before the fall semester begins.

The City University of New York (CUNY) has not yet made a decision on vaccination requirements for students. A spokesperson for the university said the decision will be made at a later time. In the meantime, the spokesperson said they're encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.