COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Tufts requires that all faculty, staff, students, vendors, and affiliates be vaccinated against COVID-19.
All Tufts faculty, staff, students, vendors, and affiliates must comply with the Tufts COVID-19 vaccination policy, except when the individual qualifies for a medical or religious accommodation or is otherwise excused from compliance with the policy pursuant to state or local law.
Vaccine Policy and Requirements
Tufts requires that all eligible students, faculty, staff, vendors, and affiliates have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and have received at least one booster dose.
The bivalent (Omicron) booster is no longer required, but it is strongly recommended.
Staying up to date on our vaccination is the best defense against illness and will help keep everyone on our campuses healthy.
Note: If you recently had COVID-19 infection, the CDC’s guidance states that you may consider delaying your next dose of vaccine by three months from symptom onset or positive test. It is safe to receive the booster vaccine as soon as you have ended the isolation period, however, and we strongly encourage you to do so.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policies
- Student COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
- Faculty & Staff COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
- Vendor & Affiliate COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
The university reserves the right to amend these policies, including as needed based on data, public health guidance, and in compliance with applicable law.
Already Received the Primary Series and Booster Shot?
After receiving the primary series and/or booster shot, please upload or email your documentation to:
- Medford/Somerville/SMFA students: https://go.tufts.edu/vaccineupload
- Boston/Grafton students: SAHA-Imm-Admin@tufts.edu
- Faculty/staff: https://go.tufts.edu/vaccineupload
Where to Find Your Vaccine Documentation
If you received your COVID-19 booster at any on-campus clinic hosted by Walgreens, which includes the clinic held at 51 Winthrop St. (Breed Hall), you can obtain documentation through the Walgreens account you created when you scheduled the appointment. To access your account, login here. Or, you can contact the Walgreens in:
- Medford: (781) 396-8350
- Boston: (617) 236-1692
- Grafton: (508) 788-0604
If you received your COVID-19 booster from Pelmed, please contact the pharmacy directly at (617) 966-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also obtain your vaccine information through the Mass State Vaccine Registry at myvaxrecords.mass.gov. It will take at least four weeks after your vaccination date for the information to be in the system.
Questions & Accommodations
Medical and religious accommodations will be granted under the law. Individuals who have already received an accommodation for their primary vaccination series are considered accommodated for the booster requirement but are obliged to inform the Office of Equal Opportunity or Tufts Occupational Health Services if their beliefs or medical conditions have changed. Medical accommodations are granted for contraindications as defined by the US-CDC.
- Students on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses seeking a medical accommodation for the COVID-19 booster or influenza vaccination should complete this form: https://tufts.app.box.com/v/hw-2021-immunization-accom-req
- Students on the Boston and Grafton campuses should contact Tufts Occupational Health Services at OccupationalHealth@tufts.edu.
- All faculty and staff should should contact Tufts Occupational Health Services at OccupationalHealth@tufts.edu.
- Any student, faculty, or staff seeking a religious accommodation should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at email@example.com.
The following links provide more information which answer many common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Faculty, staff, vendors, and affiliates who do not provide a record of having received their primary COVID-19 vaccine series (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and at least one booster dose, or receive a medical or religious accommodation, will not be allowed to work in-person on campus. Managers will work with Human Resources and those not in compliance to determine if other work arrangements are possible, as identified in the Flexible Work Options Policy. However, if the job function requires the employee to work on-site, further action for non-compliance will be taken. This may include unpaid leave, suspension or other discipline, up to and including termination
Vaccines and boosters are the best defense against severe illness from COVID-19 and are critical components of the university’s multi-layered health and safety measures. Staying up to date with current COVID-19 vaccinations protects the community from severe illness, hospitalizations, and enables in-person learning, research, and other activities which are critical to the university’s mission.
The COVID-19 vaccines are injected into a person’s upper arm, much like a flu vaccine or other shot. The COVID-19 vaccine comes in two doses, spaced a few weeks apart. The first shot provides some protection against infection, and the second shot increases the effectiveness of that protection.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for these three vaccines after they met rigorous safety and efficacy standards. The data support their safety: neither the Pfizer nor Moderna vaccines have reported any widespread or permanent serious adverse effects.
You cannot get COVID-19 from either Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The most commonly reported side effect was soreness at the site of the injection. The other common side effects, in up to 2% of recipients, were temporary symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, chills or fevers. These symptoms are more common after the second dose and usually resolve within 1-3 days.
All vaccines require caution in persons with a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines or injectable therapy. The CDC describes severe allergic reaction as anaphylaxis and/or one requiring an EpiPen and/or hospitalization after any other vaccine or injectable therapy. People who have a history of anaphylactic reactions to any substance will be observed for 30 minutes (rather than the typical 15 minutes) after each dose of the vaccine.
Common allergens (i.e., nuts, fish, eggs) are NOT listed in the ingredients for either vaccine and thus do not pose a problem to individuals receiving vaccination. The vaccines and their vials do not contain latex, so it can be administered to persons with a history of latex allergies.
There are no known reactions or interactions between oral medications and the vaccines.
The only risk known to be associated with blood thinners is the small risk of bleeding at the injection site.
None of the EUA-authorized vaccines have any reported widespread or permanent, serious, negative effects on persons receiving these vaccines. It is known from the history of other vaccines that adverse reactions will almost always be seen within two weeks after vaccine.
There is no evidence or scientific concern that the vaccine could impact fertility.
These vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women. However, we know that pregnant individuals who contract COVID-19 are five times more likely to have serious side effects from the virus. They are also more likely to have pre-term births. Therefore, pregnant women should consult their obstetricians when considering, and prior to receiving, the vaccinee.
Since the vaccine does not contain the virus, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine reports that there is no reason to believe that the vaccines affect the safety of breastmilk. In addition, antibodies formed from the vaccine pass through a mother’s milk, conferring some protection on the infant.
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Being vaccinated after having COVID-19 will boost your immunity against reinfection. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
No. None of the available COVID-19 vaccines will alter your body’s DNA.
Yes, available vaccines prevent serious illness and death; however, vaccination does not prevent infection or prevent you from passing the virus on to others. Until more data are available, even vaccinated people will need to think of themselves as possible spreaders. Masking is strongly advised.
All vaccines approved by the FDA for EUA (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) will be accepted. For those who were vaccinated outside the United States, WHO-approved vaccinations will be accepted. Individuals who have been vaccinated outside of the United States with a non-WHO-approved vaccine, may seek consultation with Occupational Health for possible consideration of vaccination with an FDA-EUA-designated vaccine.
COVID-19 boosters can be mixed.
Individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the bivalent Moderna vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible for a single booster dose of the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
- Has completed a primary vaccine series;
- Had their last dose of primary vaccine series or any booster dose at least 2 months ago;
- Is age 12 and older (must be at least 18 years of age to receive the Moderna brand vaccine).
The FDA authorized the new bivalent COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer and Moderna based on antibody levels and safety data from human studies conducted using formulations designed to target variants of SARS-Co-V2. Animal studies demonstrated that this new vaccine, which contains the code for a portion of the spike protein of BA.4 and BA.5, generates a stronger immune response against currently circulating variants than the original vaccine. Human studies using these newly authorized formulations are ongoing and real-world data from vaccine recipients will be used to measure effectiveness. Though we do not have safety data on the current formulation, all the ingredients are the same. Therefore, the vaccine is recommended for people who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.
While the CDC's Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines guidance states that people who recently had COVID-19 infection may consider delaying their next dose of vaccine for up to three months after COVID infection, from a public health approach, people can be boosted any time after recovery from their COVID infection.
Yes, it is safe to get both a COVID booster shot and flu shot at the same time.
It is recommended that you take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed by the manufacturer, for fever, aches and pains, or headache after the vaccination. Most people have no symptoms after receiving the vaccine. Only take Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen if you really need it.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Those with symptoms that need evaluation off hours and do not have other options should go to the nearest emergency room.
All Tufts faculty, staff, employees (including dental residents and post-doctoral fellows) with questions after vaccination or who are experiencing adverse events or side effects should call their PCP. For after-hours questions, students may use their PCP’s on-call service or, alternatively, Tufts University employee health plans all include Telehealth services for 24/7 access to non-emergency medical care via Tufts Health Plan Teledoc.
Dental and Medical students with questions after vaccination or who are experiencing adverse events or side effects should call their PCP. For after-hours questions, students may use their PCP’s on-call service. Tufts Student Health plan includes 24/7 Telehealth access via http://go.healthiestyou.com/student/. Those not enrolled in the Tufts Student Health plan should consult their health insurance policies to understand after-hours care options.
Medford/Somerville/SMFA students graduate and undergraduate, including Fletcher students with questions after vaccination or who are experiencing adverse events or side effects please call Tufts Health Service at (617) 627-3350. For after-hours questions, students may use the Health Service’s on-call service. Tufts Student Health plan includes 24/7 Telehealth access via http://go.healthiestyou.com/student/. Those not enrolled in the Tufts Student Health plan should consult their health insurance policies to understand after-hours care options.