Important Tufts vaccination updates
April 25, 2021
Dear students, faculty, and staff:
As of April 19, any individual 16 years of age or older in Massachusetts is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I am writing to provide three significant updates related to the vaccine. Please read this entire message. It includes information about vaccination availability at Tufts as well as our vaccination policies for the Fall 2021 semester.
1. We have secured a supply of Pfizer vaccine and invite all Tufts students, faculty, and staff to register for an appointment. Appointments will be available on April 28, 29, and 30 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. You will receive your second-dose appointment (which will occur three weeks after your first) when you check in on-site at the Gantcher Center, 161 College Avenue in Medford.
Please do not register for an appointment if:
- You have already received your first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine elsewhere. Please keep your existing appointments at the original locations.
- You have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- You are currently in close contact quarantine or isolation for COVID-19.
If you will not be in the Boston area in 21 days to receive your second dose, we still encourage you to register for your first dose now. As vaccine availability has increased across the United States, it has become easier to sign up for a second dose if you have obtained your first dose elsewhere.
We anticipate greater demand for these doses than our currently available allocation. Thus, if you are unable to get an appointment at Tufts and you wish to be vaccinated, we encourage you to register at VaccineSignUp.mass.gov for an appointment at one of the state’s mass vaccination locations or visit the state’s website vaxfinder.mass.gov to find the closest pharmacy or mass vaccination site. Individuals without access to the Internet or who are unable to schedule their appointment online can call toll-free 2-1-1 or 877-211-6277 for assistance. You will find more information about how to get the vaccine at go.tufts.edu/covidvaccine.
2. Students (including undergraduate, graduate, professional, and non-traditional students) will need to be vaccinated prior to participating in on-campus classes or activities. For students in the School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the deadline for vaccination will be July 1. For students in all other Tufts schools, the deadline will be the beginning of the fall semester. We will assist students who have limited access to vaccine in meeting this requirement shortly after their arrival on campus. Like other vaccine requirements in place for students, medical and religious accommodation will be considered. More details about this policy, including information on how to submit proof of vaccination status, will be posted this week at go.tufts.edu/covidvaccine.
3. All faculty and staff will be required to provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination, request a medical or religious accommodation, or complete a declination form indicating a decision to decline vaccination. More information on this requirement, including how it applies to contracted temporary employees and vendors who work on our campuses, will be available soon.
I truly appreciate the herculean efforts everyone in our community has made this year to keep each other safe and healthy amid the pandemic. With increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage and access, there is now, more than ever, a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Michael R. Jordan, M.D., M.P.H.
University Infection Control Health Director
Note: the word “exemption” was changed to “accommodation” in this email and noted in bold italic text to align with the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policies for students, faculty and staff, and vendors and affiliates.