Vaccines now available for students at Tufts Medical Center

By Dana Gerber, News Editor

Students can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Tufts Medical Center, just over a month after the formal partnership with the hospital fell through, Emerson announced in an email Thursday morning.  

This expanded access comes ten days after Massachusetts moved into Phase Three of the vaccine rollout, expanding eligibility for all residents over the age of 16. Some students found other avenues to receive their shot—including pharmacy website workarounds, pre-registering through the state, or travelling home—when the college said supply chain and timing issues would prevent the partnership with TMC from coming to fruition in the spring semester.

The announcement, from Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and “COVID Lead” Erik Muurisepp comes on the final day of spring semester academic courses, and just one day before students are required to vacate on campus housing.      

Any individual over the age of 16 can book an appointment—which will all be held at the Marriott Hotel at 279 Tremont St.—through the hospital’s website, Muurisepp’s email said. There will also be walk-in clinics on May 3 from 2-4:30 p.m. and May 4 from 2-4:30 p.m., which do not require an appointment.   

“As has been the case with many developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the roll out of vaccines and information related to availability has been difficult to predict,” Muurisepp wrote. “We wanted to share this news as soon as we received it so that members of the Emerson community could take advantage of the opportunity.” 

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Muurisepp encouraged all students who have yet to be vaccinated to get their shots through TMC regardless of if they’re imminently leaving the state. If students remain in Boston, their second shot will be automatically scheduled at Tufts. If students are leaving the area but staying in the U.S., Tufts will provide the necessary documentation in order to get the second shot elsewhere in the necessary timeframe, Muurisepp said.

Students are required to be vaccinated In order to participate in the fully in-person learning slated for the fall, following the lead of nearby institutions like Northeastern University and Boston University. There is “an expectation” that faculty and staff will also get their shots, according to an April 21 email from President M. Lee Pelton. 

As of Wednesday, over 35 percent of the state’s population is now fully inoculated against COVID-19—meaning they have received both doses of the vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to The Boston Globe.