ALABNY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Leaders from the State University of New York praised Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 16 years of age and older starting on April 6, 2021.

The SUNY Board of Trustees, Chancellor Jim Malatras and CICU Interim President Bognar released the following joint statement:

Today’s announcement that people ages 16 and over can sign up and receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting on April 6 is great and welcome news with major implications for our campus communities, the students we serve, and the trajectory of managing this virus. Vaccinating students will be a major undertaking, but we are more than ready to take this on to help our state and our nation turn the page on this pandemic. We are prepared to work aggressively to address misinformation, dispel myths, and communicate facts about the importance and impact of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Since the arrival of the virus, our colleges and universities have been instrumental in the battle against COVID-19—from our frontline medical staff, to the researchers who led trials for these very vaccines, to the students who adapted and persevered in their studies. Our students over the past year have done an extraordinary job under difficult circumstances. As we enter this next phase of the pandemic, we expect to play a significant role in both getting our students vaccinated and in finally restoring a sense of normalcy on our campuses—and beyond.

This statement was issued on Monday, March 29 following the announcement of new expansions to COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.