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Beginning in the Fall 2021 academic term, all students, faculty, and staff at Northeastern’s U.S. campuses will be expected to submit verification of vaccination. Check this page frequently for everything you need to know about Northeastern’s vaccination requirement, including up-to-date university messages and FAQs.

News

University Messages

August 2, 2021 — COVID 19 Vaccine Requirements

On April 6th, Northeastern became one of the nation’s first universities to require that all students be vaccinated before returning to campus for the fall term. Similarly, to further promote the health and wellbeing of the university community, the university encouraged all faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as they became eligible.

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April 6, 2021 — Student Vaccination Requirements for Fall 2021

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeastern has come together to take every possible step for our community’s health and safety—from wearing masks to healthy distancing to regular COVID-19 testing. Today, I write to announce a new health and safety measure that will help us achieve the full return to campus activities we are planning this fall. Beginning in the fall academic term, all students attending Northeastern University’s campuses will be expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of classes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Northeastern’s Vaccine Requirement for Fall 2021

Is Northeastern able to vaccinate its students, faculty, and staff?

On January 5, Northeastern was the first university in Massachusetts to begin vaccinating its community. However, due to limited federal supply, in late February the state of Massachusetts decided to prioritize vaccine distribution to its mass vaccination sites and is no longer providing vaccine to higher education institutions. If you are eligible for vaccination now under the state’s three-phased approach, we recommend that you schedule your vaccination at one of the sites listed on mass.gov/vaccine.

Is vaccination mandatory?

Beginning in the fall academic term, students attending or visiting Northeastern University’s U.S. campuses will be expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of classes. Faculty and staff who work at one of Northeastern University’s U.S. campuses are expected to submit verification of vaccination no later than September 8th. Students, faculty, and staff should complete the Vaccine Verification form to submit their proof of immunization.

Is vaccination mandatory for employees who work remotely and do not come to campus regularly?

Yes. Our goal is to do our part in managing overall community spread, not just protect those coming to our campuses. We can do this by having all faculty and staff vaccinated, unless mandating is prohibited by local or state law, regardless of whether they are on campus.

Is it legal to require the Covid vaccine for employees if it is only approved through an Emergency Use Authorization?

Yes, we believe our vaccination requirement for employees is consistent with current law and is supported by the recent guidance from the EEOC and the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel. The health and wellbeing of our community is what drives our decisions. The overall scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports widespread vaccination.

Is it legal to require the Covid vaccine for students if it is only approved through an Emergency Use Authorization?

The health and wellbeing of our community is what drives our decisions. We believe that for students in a close-knit, residential environment vaccination is essential. The overall scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports widespread vaccination. We believe our vaccination requirement is consistent with current law.

Why is Northeastern requiring students attending or visiting U.S. campuses, and faculty and staff who work there to be vaccinated against Covid-19?

We are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for the same reason that students are required to be vaccinated for other communicable diseases like Measles or Meningitis—to protect the community. At this point, vaccination is proving to be the best way to control and ultimately defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the best tool we have for promoting the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff.

What is the vaccine requirement for students who attend our campuses in Canada or the United Kingdom and for faculty, staff, and vendor employees who work there?

Due to local regulations, vaccines aren’t currently required for students, faculty, and staff located at our Canadian or United Kingdom campuses. However, we strongly encourage every member of the Northeastern community to get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.

Will there be an option for a student to take courses remotely through Hybrid NUflex in the fall, if they don’t want to receive the vaccine?

All students are expected to arrive on campus in September fully vaccinated, unless they have a medical or religious exemption. The university is planning to return to a normal, in-person fall semester with in-person classes and regular campus activities.

Where can students, faculty, and staff submit their proof of immunization?

Students, faculty, and staff should complete the Vaccine Verification form to submit their proof of immunization.

If I already submitted my vaccine documentation in another form or by email, do I need to resubmit it?

Yes. Students who submitted their vaccine documentation to University Health and Counseling Services or to the university’s contact tracing team still need to complete the Vaccine Verification form to submit their proof of immunization.

If I am a faculty or staff member who submitted the Self-Report Vaccination Form, do I still need to submit the Vaccine Verification form?

Yes. Faculty or staff who have submitted the Self-Report Vaccination Form are required to submit the information again using the Vaccine Verification form.

Can students, faculty, and staff request an exemption?

Yes. Northeastern community members may request religious and medical exemptions to the policy. Students, faculty, and staff should complete the Vaccine Verification form to request an exemption.

Will students, faculty, and staff who receive a medical or religious exemption from vaccination be required to follow different health and safety protocols?

Based on current CDC and Massachusetts guidelines, unvaccinated people will need to continue wearing a face mask or face covering indoors, practice healthy distancing, and participate in required testing. Students and employees who have received a vaccination exemption will be able to live, teach, and work on campus, attend classes in person, and participate in any campus activity available to the rest of the university community.

What will happen if a student tries their best to access the vaccine and is not able to before classes begin?

Students should complete the Vaccine Verification form and indicate they are having difficulties accessing the vaccine. Northeastern will continue to carefully monitor vaccine access and supply across our global network locations, especially as we approach the start of the fall term. We strongly encourage all members of the Northeastern community to get the vaccine as soon

as it becomes available to them. For international students who may have limited access to the vaccine, Northeastern will assist you in getting the vaccine soon after your arr

Which vaccines will fill the requirement?

Students, faculty, and staff will need to get a vaccine approved in the United States or a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of July 12, WHO lists the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, Covishield, Serum Institute of India, Astra Zeneca EU, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac vaccines for emergency use.

Students who have received a vaccine that is not approved in the United States or a vaccine listed for emergency use by WHO should still use the Vaccine Verification form to upload documentation for the vaccine they received. Based on new CDC guidance on revaccination, Northeastern will require students to be revaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine if they received a vaccine not approved by WHO.

Students who have received a vaccine that is not approved in the United States or a vaccine listed for emergency use by WHO should still use the Vaccine Verification form to upload documentation for the vaccine they received.  Based on new CDC guidance on revaccination, Northeastern will require students to be revaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine if they received a vaccine not approved by WHO.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in Massachusetts?

People in Massachusetts should visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a location that administers the COVID-19 vaccine and to schedule an appointment. Mass.gov also provides vaccine information on how to get vaccinated, how to prepare for an appointment, and how to schedule a second dose.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in California?

Please see the vaccine FAQs on the Northeastern Bay area website. Visit the following websites for more information:

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in Seattle, Washington?

Please see the vaccine FAQs on the Northeastern Seattle website. Visit Washington State Department of Health  for more information on the  vaccine distribution timeline and for the vaccine locator.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in Charlotte, North Carolina?

Please see the vaccine FAQs on the Charlotte website. Visit the NCDHHS Vaccine Website for more information on the vaccine distribution timeline and the Mecklenburg County Vaccination Page for information on local distribution. We encourage you to start by registering an account with Atrium, Novant, or Mecklenburg County Health Department to easily schedule an appointment when your group becomes available.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in Toronto, Ontario?

Although COVID-19 vaccination isn’t currently required for students, faculty, or staff located in Toronto, you can find more information on Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine website. The province has a three-phased vaccination plan with vaccines available to the general public beginning in July 2021. Visit this page to book a vaccine if you are eligible.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in Vancouver, British Columbia?

Although COVID-19 vaccination isn’t currently required for students, faculty, and staff located in Vancouver, you can find more information on British Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccine website. The province has a four-phase vaccination plan with vaccines available to the general public beginning in April through June 2021. Read more about eligibility and how to register for the vaccine.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in Portland, Maine?

You can find more information on Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine website. Read the website’s FAQs to learn more about eligibility and scheduling. You may pre-register for an appointment.

Where can I find information on how to access the vaccine in London, United Kingdom?

Although COVID-19 vaccination isn’t currently required for students, faculty, and staff located on the London campus, you can find more information on the NHS vaccine website. The website shares information on who can get the vaccine and how to book an appointment.

If a student has already received a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by the U.S. or WHO, will Northeastern require them to be vaccinated a second time?

Based on new CDC guidance on revaccination, Northeastern will require students to be revaccinated if they received a vaccine that is not approved in the United States or a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Students who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized in the U.S. or authorized by WHO should use the Vaccine Verification form to upload documentation for the vaccine they received.

Should a student delay vaccination if they only have access to a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by the U.S. or the WHO?

We do not advise that students delay vaccination if another vaccine is available to them, and we recommend that you discuss your vaccination options with your primary care physician. Based on new CDC guidance on revaccination, Northeastern will require students to be revaccinated if they received a vaccine that is not approved in the United States or a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Students who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized in the U.S or by WHO should use the Vaccine Verification form to upload documentation for the vaccine they received.

Does the vaccine requirement apply to students participating in Northeastern global co-op and study abroad programs?

Yes. The vaccination policy applies to all university travelers participating in fall global co-op and study abroad programs, including N.U.in, NU Bound, and NU Immerse. You should carefully review any vaccination requirements for the country where you are traveling and consult the approved vaccine list for your destination. Please note that these lists are constantly being updated. We recommend discussing vaccination options with your primary care physician.

If a student can’t get the vaccine before arriving in the U.S., will they be able to get it on the Northeastern campus before the term starts?

Northeastern is not currently distributing the vaccine on its campuses, including in Massachusetts where the state changed its vaccine distribution plan. If you are a Northeastern student who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts, you are eligible to access the vaccine through another vaccine distributor listed on vaxfinder.mass.gov. While appointments can’t be scheduled months in advance, we can assist you in booking a vaccine closer the date of the fall term. Many pharmacies and clinics have same-day appointments available, and some are administering vaccinations on a walk-in basis.

What kind of help will Northeastern provide international students who are unable to access the vaccine in their home country?

For international students who may have limited access to the vaccine, Northeastern will assist you in getting the vaccine soon after your arrival. Northeastern will appoint and train staff to assist students with booking vaccination appointments at the vaccination sites available in their campus location. Appointments can’t be scheduled months in advance, but we can assist you in booking a vaccine closer to the date of the fall term.

Will a student be able to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before program start date if they have a vaccine appointment?

No, international students can only enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program start date on your I-20/DS-2019. Please review the Academic Calendar for other important dates for the start of your program. Please contact Office of Global Services for questions regarding your individual arrival plans.

Which international documents will be accepted as proof of immunization?

Please keep any vaccination records you have available to you, to document your immunization.

How should an international student provide proof of COVID-19 immunization to Northeastern if their country doesn’t provide proof of immunization?

We recommend following the same process an international student would follow for other proofs of immunization.

  • Make an appointment with a doctor who is authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Bring any record of your COVID-19 vaccination, including approximate dates.
  • The doctor will review them, may do a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies, and certify that the individual is vaccinated based on the document provided as proof of vaccination or through a blood test.
  • The physician might recommend another vaccine based on what they see in the blood test results.

Is an international student allowed to get a vaccination in Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom if their permanent residence is outside of the country?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is available to international students in all of our global network locations.

After Your Vaccination

What are the testing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals?

Until the week of September 6, fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students are no longer required to participate in COVID-19 testing. Beginning the week of September 6, all faculty, staff, and students—both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated—are required to have a weekly COVID-19 test if they are on campus one day a week or more. This testing cadence applies on any Northeastern campus where COVID-19 testing is provided. These testing requirements may be revised as the fall 2021 term progresses.

Will people who get the vaccine be exempt from required COVID-19 testing?

No. At this time, fully vaccinated people should continue with any required COVID-19 testing. Northeastern will continue to evaluate and adjust its viral resting requirements based on the best science available, current guidance from the CDC, Northeastern’s own testing data, and the insights of our faculty experts.

Will people who get the vaccine be exempt from quarantine if exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19?

Northeastern follows MDPH guidelines on this question: If a fully vaccinated person is exposed to someone with COVID-19 but has no symptoms, they are not required to quarantine. However, it is critical to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and to avoid being in close contact with others for 14 days following an exposure, even if they are fully vaccinated. If they experience symptoms, they should indicate the symptoms on the Daily Wellness Check, isolate themselves from others, speak to a member of the Northeastern Wellness Team, and be tested for COVID-19.

Other Vaccination Questions

Could I test positive or be infected because of the vaccine?

No. The vaccines do not contain the live COVID-19 virus, and neither vaccine will cause you to test positive. The CDC provides more information on these questions and others you may have about the vaccine, how your body may respond to it, and how it works.

Can I receive the vaccine if I have already had COVID-19?

Yes, but only after you recover and meet the criteria to discontinue isolation. Because reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, you may want to defer vaccination for 90 days after recovery. If you received antibody therapy to treat COVID-19, you should wait for 90 days after the date of the treatment before you receive the vaccine. Please consult your primary care provider if you have further questions about your history of COVID-19 what it means for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I receive the vaccine if I was exposed to a person with COVID-19?

Yes, but only after you meet the criteria to discontinue quarantine. Receiving the vaccine after you are exposed to the virus will not prevent an infection caused by that exposure. Because you are at a high risk of developing the infection and transmitting it to other people, you have to stay quarantined until cleared by the Northeastern Wellness Team or a public health authority. If you are exposed after you schedule your vaccination, please reschedule your appointment.

Can I receive the vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition, am pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding?

Please consult your primary care providers and the CDC guidelines about the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine.

If I have a question not answered here, where should I go for information?

For other vaccination-related questions, please visit the Massachusetts distribution plan, email COVID19vaccine@northeastern.edu, or call the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine hotline at 617-373-7333.

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