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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Fall 2021

Students

MCPHS has made the decision to join the growing number of colleges and universities across the state and country to require all students to have the COVID-19 vaccine in order to be on campus for the fall 2021 semester. Please note that there are already some clinical sites requiring COVID-19 vaccination, and you will need to follow the site’s requirements with respect to COVID-19 vaccination. Undergraduate and graduate students planning to be on campus for the fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021. This decision was made in accordance with medical and public health experts, including a recommendation from the American College Health Association that all on-campus students receive COVID-19 vaccines prior to the fall 2021 semester, and is the most effective way for us to prevent the spread of the virus on campus.

Employees

MCPHS has made the decision to join the growing number of colleges and universities across the region and country to require all employees planning to be on campus for the fall 2021 semester to be fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. Employees must be fully vaccinated by August 31, 2021 unless they qualify for limited exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Unvaccinated employees without an approved exemption will not be permitted on campus.

The University accepts all vaccines recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as well as those recognized by the current World Health Organization (WHO) EUA. Although the University accepts the latter, please be aware that clinical rotation sites will require students to be immunized by one of the three vaccines accepted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

In order to be fully immunized by the time you arrive on campus, please abide by your vaccine’s respective timeline. The following schedule may help you in achieving an August 1 immunization date:

FDA EUA Vaccines:

  1. Johnson & Johnson (Janssen): receive vaccine by July 18
  2. Pfizer: receive 1st dose by June 27 and 2nd dose by July 18
  3. Moderna: receive 1st dose by June 20 and 2nd dose by July 18

FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

If you received one of the current WHO EUA vaccines, you may come to campus, but please note that clinical rotation sites will require your vaccination by one of the FDA EUA vaccines (listed above) prior to your start date.

In order to be fully immunized by the time you arrive on campus, please abide by your vaccine’s respective timeline. The following schedule may help you in achieving an August 1 immunization date:

Current WHO EUA Vaccines:

  1. Astra-Zeneca/Oxford: receive 1st dose by June 1. The 2nd dose interval is 4-12 weeks apart—4 weeks is June 29; 6 weeks is July 18; 12 weeks is August 24 (with full immunization by September 7)
  2. Covishield (Serum Institute of India): the schedule of doses follows the same as the Astra-Zeneca/Oxford vaccine (1st dose by June 1, immunization by September 7)
  3. Sinopharm/BIBP: receive 1st dose by June 20. The 2nd dose interval is 3-4 weeks apart—3 weeks is July 11; 4 weeks is July 18
  4. Sinovac: receive 1st dose by June 20. The 2nd dose interval is 14-28 days apart—14 days is July 4; 28 days is July 18

If none of the vaccines on the current WHO EUA list are available to you, we still recommend that you get vaccinated by whatever vaccine is provided in your country as soon as possible. Please be advised that people in this category will likely be required to be re-vaccinated with an FDA EUA vaccine. MCPHS will offer additional guidance closer to the start of the fall semester.

Vaccines are now widely available for those age 16 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is currently available to those age 12 and older. For those in the United States, the CDC website lists resources for finding and making a vaccine appointment. For international students, MCPHS will work with you to obtain a vaccination once you arrive in the United States. If you would like more information regarding the vaccine, you can contact the MCPHS COVID-19 Team for assistance at COVID19team@mcphs.edu.

For vaccine information in multiple languages, please visit this page from the Boston Health Commission.

You can find the full and up-to-date MCPHS student immunization policy here.

Yes, you should get vaccinated even if you have had COVID-19. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from the virus after recovering from COVID-19, and reinfection is possible.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Students

If a student is unable to obtain one or more immunizations due to medical or religious reasons, they may upload the Vaccine Exemption Form to CastleBranch. Students who are unable to obtain one or more immunizations for medical reasons must also submit a letter (on official letterhead with a signature) from the student’s healthcare provider certifying that the provider has personally examined the student and is of the opinion that the student’s health would be endangered by the immunization. Medical and religious exemptions must be renewed annually at the start of each school year.

Employees

For employees with a medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude them from getting vaccinated, please consult with Human Resources at HR@mcphs.edu as soon as possible. For employees with a medical condition, you can also refer to the reasonable accommodations webpage for more information. If you have other concerns about getting vaccinated, please contact Human Resources.

Students

Once you have been fully vaccinated, you must upload proof of your vaccination to CastleBranch, the same confidential health information service MCPHS uses for all student immunization records and compliance. CastleBranch now has COVID-19 vaccine tracking and documentation services for all students to use. All students will be receiving an email with instructions on uploading proof of vaccination to CastleBranch.

Any questions about using CastleBranch should be directed to the company at customerservice@castlebranch.com or 888.723.4263. More information regarding the MCPHS Immunization Policy can be found here.

Employees

Once you have received all the requisite dose(s) of your chosen vaccine, you can upload your results through CoVerified or notify your supervisor that you have been fully vaccinated along with the date you became fully vaccinated.

If you have questions about accessing or using the app, please contact the Help Desk.

Public health experts strongly recommend people continue to wear masks and follow COVID-19 safety protocols even after an individual has received both COVID-19 vaccine shots. According to these experts, the vaccine is believed to prevent serious illness in those vaccinated, but there is no evidence yet that it will prevent the spread of the virus. There is a distinct possibility that some vaccinated individuals could still get infected with COVID-19 and further spread the virus. In an effort to keep non-vaccinated MCPHS Community members safe, those who have received the vaccination will still be required to wear masks and continue to follow established safety and testing protocols.

COVID-19 Team Contact Information

covid19team@mcphs.edu
617.732.2798