ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell University has pushed back its employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate after the federal government decided to give its contractors more time to receive their shots.

The decision was confirmed by a Cornell spokesperson and is listed on the school’s staff vaccination page now. The school had initially had a vaccination deadline of Dec. 15, 2021, but now will allow employees to wait until Jan. 18, 2022, until their contracts are taken off Cornell’s payroll if they are not fully vaccinated.

The deadline includes all Cornell staff members at each of the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses.

Recently, the federal government extended the vaccination deadline for all employees, which includes government contractors—the original reason Cornell decided to implement its vaccination mandate. Cornell cited the federal government’s decision as its reason for postponing its deadline last week as well.

“President Biden’s recent executive order, however, requires that all employees of certain contractors that do business with the federal government be vaccinated, unless exempt for medical or religious reasons,” the school said at the time the first executive order was issued requiring federal employees receive a COVID-19 shot. “The university has numerous federal contracts that are covered by the provisions in the executive order.”

The school currently has 93 percent of its “other staff” vaccinated, according to its dashboard. Overall, the school has a 97 percent vaccination rate on campus.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at