Vaccination required for all students in fall 2021

April 30, 2021

All students coming or returning to campus in fall 2021 will be required to be fully vaccinated with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized vaccine, according to an email sent to the Brandeis community by Provost and Executive President for Academic Affairs Carol Fierke, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Stew Uretsky and Vice President of Student Affairs Raymond Ou. Limited exemptions will be granted to students for medical or religious reasons. More guidance on this is forthcoming, according to their website

“Vaccines will not enable us to end all additional health precautions and it is imperative that everyone continue following all COVID-19 protocols through the end of this semester as well,” reads the email. “However, a student community that is largely vaccinated will allow us to increase the in-person experiences that we are all longing for next semester.”

Fully vaccinated students will have either received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the website. The final dose of the vaccine must have been received at least two weeks prior to coming onto campus.  

Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are authorized by the U.S. FDA for use in the United States. The university is still evaluating how non-FDA vaccinations will be treated, especially for international students that may have received non-FDA approved vaccines, according to their website. Additional guidance will be provided closer to the beginning of the fall semester. 

Incoming students will have the ability to upload their completed vaccination card to the Brandeis Campus Passport within a week of creating their Brandeis emails and will also be asked to provide a record of vaccination on their Health Center health report. Returning students can upload vaccination records to the Brandeis Campus Passport, according to the email. Students that participated in on-campus vaccine clinics will not need to take additional steps to provide a record of vaccination. 

The university will be offering another vaccine clinic with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Wednesday, May 5 for current students who missed the initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine clinic on campus, according to email. Students may also sign up for a first or second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine during the upcoming vaccine clinic on May 13 through May 16. Students receiving their first shot at this clinic will be required to seek out their second dose on their own. 

Vaccine clinics will be held on campus weekly throughout the spring and summer “to provide a convenient and equitable way for community members to receive the vaccine,” according to the email. The university will also be hosting on-campus vaccination clinics at the beginning of the fall semester for students who are unable to get vaccinated any earlier, according to their website. Students that are vaccinated through these clinics will have limited access to campus spaces and facilities until they are fully vaccinated, which could take up to six weeks after their initial shot. 

The university is still evaluating vaccination requirements for faculty and staff but has “strongly encouraged” all employees of the university to get vaccinated as soon as possible, according to the website. All faculty and staff are now able to sign up for vaccinations through the university’s vaccine clinics, according to an April 29 email sent to the Brandeis community by Morgen Bergman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and director of the COVID-19 vaccination program at Brandeis. 
The university announced plans to re-open campus for an “in-person experience” for students in fall 2021 according to an email sent out on March 16 by members of the senior administration. A majority of classes will be taught in-person while continuing to utilize physical distancing measures.

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