Emerson sets vaccination deadline for return to campus

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Photo: Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe via State House News Service

A clinician fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine from a vial.

By Camilo Fonseca, Editor-at-Large

Emerson students returning to campus in the fall must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by July 15, the college announced in a Friday afternoon email.

The midsummer vaccination deadline is part of the college’s plan to return to in-person learning in the fall. By this date, the college expects students, barring religious or medical exemptions, to have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the email from Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and “COVID Lead” Erik Muurisepp said.

Once students are vaccinated, they must submit documentation of their shot to the Student Health Portal to be verified by the Center for Health and Wellness.

Students with early arrivals on campus, such as Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, and International Student Peer Mentors, should be fully vaccinated before moving in, regardless of whether they do so before July 15. The requirement is also in place for anybody who has previously been infected with COVID-19.

Like other Boston-area institutions such as Northeastern University and Boston University, Emerson anticipates that its “fully-vaccinated community,” including faculty and staff, will ensure a “safe academic year” in 2021-22.

CHW will only accept those vaccines granted Emergency Use Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—a group that does not include AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, the most widely available vaccines in Europe and China, respectively. International students having received non-EUA vaccines will be assessed on a “case-by-case basis.”

The college is still “developing a plan” for international students in countries without “readily available” COVID-19 vaccines, the email said, noting that students without access to any vaccines by July 15 will be able to arrive early in Boston for vaccination.