Update on Tufts University’s plans for COVID-19 vaccine rollout
February 1, 2021
Dear members of the Tufts Community,
On January 11, we announced the University’s plans for phase 1 rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently underway and follows the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ phased approach. The state’s vaccine distribution timeline developed after extensive consultation with medical professionals, public health experts, elected officials, community leaders and infectious disease specialists, reflects several priorities: protecting the most vulnerable populations, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden. We are writing today to provide an update on Tufts’ plans as the Commonwealth enters phase 2 of its vaccine rollout in February.
We know members of our community are eager to receive a vaccine against COVID-19, and we assure you that we are doing our utmost to get our communities vaccinated within the framework established by the Commonwealth. The University has been approved by the state to administer the vaccine through the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Program (MCVP). This approval is the first step in a multi-step process that will enable us to vaccinate our community directly, pending vaccine availability, rather than relying on partners, as we have done to date.
At present, the University does not have vaccine to distribute; therefore, if you are eligible to receive the vaccine per state guidelines, we encourage you to seek vaccination through public distribution sites in your communities and through your own health providers.
If you have questions about when you will be eligible for a vaccine and how to get one, please follow these steps:
- Visit mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine to find your phase and priority group.
- If you are eligible to receive a vaccine, use the mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap to find a vaccine clinic near you.
- Make an appointment online and complete the attestation form.
The majority of our student community and the general public will be eligible to receive the vaccine in phase 3, which the state currently projects to begin sometime in April. Our hope is that by this time we will be able to vaccinate our community directly. Please note that all of the phased rollout timelines are subject to change by the state and vaccine availability.
Please do not call Tufts Health Service or make inquires to Jumbo Health or Tufts Medical Center to request the vaccine. When Tufts has vaccines available, we will directly contact members of the Tufts community about scheduling their vaccinations as we follow the phased rollout plan defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Please note that vaccination against COVID-19 will not necessarily prevent you from contracting the virus or prevent you from spreading it to others, although it will make it less likely and also can make symptoms less severe. As a result, regardless of vaccination status, the University will require everyone to continue to comply with routine COVID-19 surveillance testing and protocols for physical distancing, wearing of face masks, hand hygiene, and participate in contact tracing and quarantine and isolation.
You can read about the University’s vaccination policies and plans at https://coronavirus.tufts.edu/healthy-at-tufts/covid-19-vaccinations-tufts. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
We appreciate your patience as we operationalize distribution of the vaccine at Tufts and strive to make the vaccine available to as many eligible members of our community as possible during the state’s phased rollout.
Michael R. Jordan, M.D., M.P.H.
University Infection Control Health Director