Beginning in the fall academic term, students attending or visiting Northeastern University’s U.S. and Canadian campuses will be expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Faculty and staff who work at one of Northeastern University’s U.S. or Canadian campuses are also expected to submit verification of vaccination. Students, faculty, and staff should complete the Vaccine Verification form to submit their proof of immunization.
All faculty and staff who work at one of Northeastern University’s U.S. campuses, and all students attending or visiting a U.S. campus, are required to receive a booster shot by January 18, 2022, or seven days after they become eligible. Consistent with our decision to require vaccination of all students, faculty, staff, and contract employees, we believe that vaccination remains essential to successfully manage the pandemic.
Yes. The requirement applies to faculty and staff who have alternative work arrangements and who work or teach fully remotely.
The requirement applies to all students who are attending or visiting a U.S. campus. Students who are fully online and won’t be attending or visiting a U.S. campus are not required to get a booster shot, but it is strongly encouraged.
Faculty, staff, and students located on our Canadian and U.K. campuses are strongly encouraged to get a booster shot if they are eligible.
Yes. On December 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that people who received an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine—which includes Sinovac Biotech, Sinopharm, and Bharat Biotech—should receive a booster dose to protect against waning immunity. The CDC Interim Clinical Considerations also indicate that a person who received a WHO-authorized vaccine not approved by the FDA or a person who received a “mix and match” vaccine series should receive a single booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech six months after completing their primary series. WHO-authorized vaccines not approved by the FDA include AstraZeneca, Covishield, Covaxin, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.
Yes. Emerging evidence indicates that survivors of previous COVID-19 infections may be at a higher risk of re-infection with the Omicron variant. Preliminary data also show that protection improves with a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It remains unclear how long a past infection provides immunity against the virus, so vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19. We want to promote our community’s safety using the most effective tools we have.
You may receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you complete your isolation. If your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to postpone your vaccination after your recovery, please obtain a letter from the provider that includes the recommended date of COVID-19 vaccination. You may submit a medical exemption request by submitting the letter to the Vaccine Verification form on Wellness Portal. Please do not go to a vaccine clinic while you are still in isolation.
Yes. Faculty, staff, and students can use the Vaccine Verification form to indicate they are having difficulties accessing the vaccine.
Faculty, staff, and students can submit their booster shot documentation and request exemptions through the Vaccine Verification form.
Anyone in Massachusetts can search for available booster shot locations through the Massachusetts Vaxfinder website. Pharmacies across the United States also carry and administer booster shots. The CDC’s Vaccines.gov website is a great resource as well.
You may also find information regarding COVID-19 booster shots in locations across Northeastern’s global network including Massachusetts, California, Washington, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, British Columbia, Ontario, and the United Kingdom.
Students may have a hold placed on their account, and faculty and staff may be placed on unpaid administrative leave.
The FDA and the CDC have authorized heterologous boosters often referred to as “mixing and matching” vaccines. For instance, if you originally received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, you can now receive a booster from either Pfizer or Moderna.
Yes. While not mandatory, flu season is upon us and flu shots are very effective. If you haven’t yet received a flu shot this year, we encourage you to get it at the same time you are receiving your COVID-19 booster shot. Getting both shots at the same time, or in close proximity to each other, has been determined to be safe by the CDC.
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.
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.
Due to local regulations, vaccines aren’t currently required for students, faculty, and staff located at our United Kingdom campus. However, we strongly encourage every member of the Northeastern community to get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.
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.
Students, faculty, and staff will need to get a vaccine approved in the United States or approved by Public Health Canada or a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of September 1, 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 an unapproved vaccine should still use the Vaccine Verification form to upload documentation for the vaccine they received.
Yes. 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.
According to CDC guidance, people who received all or some of the recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is neither authorized by the FDA nor listed for emergency use by the WHO may also complete an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. Only people who have received all recommended doses of an FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO-listed COVID-19 vaccine are considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of public health guidance.
Some studies have shown that persons who receive mix-and-match vaccine doses may report a higher frequency of mild to moderate side effects. No mix-and-match trials have yet reported severe side effects, At this time there are no large, controlled studies on the side effects of mix-and-match vaccines, but the Centers for Disease Control continues to monitor all adverse reactions to vaccines through its Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.
Please refer to the Toronto FAQs and Vancouver FAQs for provincial guidance on revaccination.
To stay in compliance with university requirements, students having trouble accessing the vaccine should indicate it on the Vaccine Verification form. They should update the Vaccine Verification form as soon as they have their first dose, and again if a second dose is required. If they have one dose submitted in the Vaccine Verification form and follow the other safety protocols—to complete the Daily Wellness Check, wear a mask indoors, and get tested once a week—they can attend class in-person before they are fully vaccinated.
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.
Per CDC guidance, people with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. Those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Students, faculty, and staff should complete the Vaccine Verification form to submit their proof of immunization.
Yes. Faculty or staff who have submitted the Self-Report Vaccination Form are required to submit the information again using the Vaccine Verification form.
Vaccine status information is treated confidentially by the university, as we would do with any medical information shared by employees. The information faculty, staff, and students provide regarding their vaccination status or plans will be treated confidentially and will not become part of a faculty or staff personnel file. The information may also be used in a limited number of ways: to automatically change someone’s testing cadence if needed, and for reporting to government agencies to comply with public health requirements in certain campus locations.
No. Vaccine status information is treated confidentially by the university, as we would do with any medical information shared by employees.
No. Vaccine status information is treated confidentially by the university, as we would do with any medical information shared by employees. No employee should be pressured to disclose vaccine status to a colleague under any circumstances.
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.
Please see the vaccine FAQs on the Northeastern Bay area website. Visit the following websites for more information:
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.
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.
You can find more information on Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine website. The province has a three-phased vaccination plan with vaccines now available to the general public. Visit this page to book a vaccine if you are eligible.
You can find more information on British Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccine website. The province has a four-phase vaccination plan with vaccines now available to the general public. Read more about eligibility and how to register for the vaccine.
You can find more information on Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine website. Read the website’s FAQs to learn more about eligibility and scheduling and to register for an appointment.
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.
We do not advise that students delay vaccination if another vaccine is available to them. We recommend that you discuss your vaccination options with your primary care physician. Students who have access should complete a first dose if they’re able to do so. Northeastern will require U.S. 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.
We will work with all of our international learners to help them access vaccines. This will include holding a vaccine clinic on our Boston campus so we can quickly offer the vaccine to international students on arrival. In the meantime, students should fill out the Vaccine Verification form and indicate if they’re having trouble accessing the vaccine. That will help the university identify and offer assistance to students who need it.
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 the Office of Global Services for questions regarding your individual arrival plans.
Please keep any vaccination records you have available to you, to document your 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.
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is available to international students in all of our global network locations.
In Massachusetts, the vaccine is available to anyone who lives, works, or studies in the state.
In California, vaccinations are available to anyone regardless of immigration or citizenship status.
In North Carolina, vaccines are available regardless of immigration status.
In Washington, vaccines are available regardless of immigration status.
In Canada, vaccinations are available to anyone who lives, works or studies in British Columbia or Ontario, regardless of immigration status.
In the United Kingdom, the government has confirmed that vaccines will be available regardless of immigration status.
Masking guidelines are now based on local guidelines and mandates. Effective March 5th, masks indoors on the Boston campus will be optional for students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contract employees, regardless of vaccination status. State guidelines still require people to wear masks in some settings, such as public transportation and inside medical facilities, such as University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS).
Individuals who had a COVID-19 infection in the past 10 days must wear a well-fitting, high-quality maskaround others in their household and in public. Close contacts of people infected with COVID-19 must wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask around others in their household and in public for 10 days following their exposure, regardless of their vaccination status.
We understand that people may have different comfort levels when it comes to removing their masks, and we urge everyone to respect the decision of others regarding mask wearing.
Please follow the public health guidance regarding mask wearing. If you are testing due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, you must wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask. If you have no symptoms and have not been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, you are not required to wear a mask.
Northeastern will follow the same process we use for other COVID or university protocol compliance. Faculty noncompliance should be referred to the department chair, staff non-compliance should be referred to the HR business partner, and student non-compliance should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
U.S.-based faculty, staff, and students—regardless of vaccination status—are only required to undergo COVID-19 testing if they are exhibiting symptoms. Please refer to the Toronto FAQs and Vancouver FAQs for guidance on testing requirements for people who are not fully vaccinated or who have an approved exemption to the vaccine requirement.
Staff who work remotely and faculty who are on sabbatical or teach solely in a fully online program are not required to undergo testing.
We recommend that all Northeastern students get a test for COVID-19 before they travel. There may be other requirements you need to follow for departure, both for entry into your transit points and for your point of entry into the United States. Northeastern’s Office of Global Services has prepared a guide for international students who are traveling to Northeastern from abroad, with detailed information for specific countries.
If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you may consult with your personal physician, a local urgent care facility, or students may consult with University Health and Counseling Services for appropriate health support.
If you tested positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus, even if you do not have any symptoms. Start your 5 days of isolation, and continue to wear a mask for another 5 days. Contact your clinician if you need further guidance.
If a vaccinated individual tests positive they will need to isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. We Care (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Off-Campus Housing and Support Services (email@example.com) are available for consultation and support.
University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) will make home-use rapid antigen tests available for faculty, students, and staff upon request and free of charge. These can be picked up at 70 Forsyth Street on the 1st floor beginning Monday, May 9, 2022.
Faculty, staff, and students may obtain one test, once per week. There is no pre-registration or appointment required. Tests can be picked up Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9am – 5pm, or Tuesday and Thursday from 9am – 8pm.
If you have other COVID-19 related questions, please email NUCovid19Qs@northeastern.edu or call 617.373.7333. This inbox and phone line are monitored from 8:30 a.m. ET to 4:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
A person with COVID-19 can remain infectious for up to 10 days. Per CDC guidelines, positive individuals should isolate for five days, beginning with the day symptoms began. If you do not develop any symptoms, your isolation should begin on the date of your positive test. Isolation can end after 5 days if you are no longer symptomatic or your symptoms are improving, though you must continue wearing a mask around others, including in your household, for 5 more days. (The day that you first noticed symptoms, or when you received your positive test, counts as “day 0,” with the following being day 1, etc.)
If symptoms remain after 5 days, continue isolation until the symptoms improve. Please consult a healthcare provider about medical care and isolation duration if your symptoms do not improve significantly after 5 days or if you are immunocompromised. Students may leave isolation to attend medical appointments and pick up food.
You should also reach out to your instructors, department chair, or manager, letting them know if you plan on working remotely or need flexibility as you remain in isolation. As always, you are not required to share the details of your medical status with anyone.
If a vaccinated individual tests positive they will need to isolate for at least 5 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Our vaccination and booster requirements will allow students to isolate in their rooms—either on or off-campus. Isolation typically lasts for 5 days followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others (both indoors and outdoors), but the exact duration may extend to more than 10 days based on the person’s symptoms.
You can leave isolation if you are no longer symptomatic and if at least 5 days have passed since either the onset of symptoms or you received a positive test result. You must continue to wear a mask for another 5 days and not eat around others.
Keep wearing a mask, including in your household, through 10 days after the day you started experiencing symptoms or the date you tested if you did not have any symptoms. A SARS-CoV-2 PCR test can detect a piece of “remnant” virus that is no longer infectious. Therefore, it is not recommended to test again after you finish isolation. If you develop symptoms again, please consult a healthcare provider about possible diagnosis and testing options.
Students who are in isolation can reach out to their instructors for accommodations and access to classes. Faculty have received information on options for accommodating these absences, which may include remote class participation and recording of lectures. Students who are having difficulty in making these arrangements should contact their academic advisor or contact We Care at 617-373-7591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being in the same classroom with an infected person does not always expose you to the virus. To protect the privacy of the person who tested positive, please do not share information about another person’s positive test. If you are informed that you are a close contact, please see the “Close Contacts and Exposure” section below.
You will be deemed a close contact if you’ve had this type of contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 during their infectious period:
A person is considered “boosted” and “up to date” immediately after receiving their booster dose.
If you are exposed to COVID-19, you should monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and wear a mask indoors for 10 days following the exposure.
If you are not up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine, or unvaccinated with an approved exemption, you are required to quarantine for at least 5 days after exposure, followed by strict mask wearing for 5 additional days. Northeastern follows Massachusetts guidance on quarantine for students based in Boston.
If an individual up to date on COVID-19 vaccination is exposed to someone with COVID-19 (the same as being identified as a “close contact”), they are not required to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Regardless of vaccination status, a close contact of COVID-19 must wear a mask at all times, including in the household, and avoid eating in public for 10 days following their exposure.
Regardless of vaccination status, a close contact of COVID-19 must immediately test and isolate if they develop symptoms until they receive a negative test result. Regardless of vaccination status and symptoms, it is recommended to be tested 5 days after the most recent date of exposure, even if they tested negative earlier.
Roommates of those who test positive should consider themselves “close contacts” and monitor themselves for symptoms. If you begin to exhibit symptoms, they should immediately obtain a COVID test.
To encourage cooperation with efforts to reduce COVID-19 and avoid retaliation and stigma, we ask that all community members who learn of a positive COVID-19 test do not disclose this information to others. COVID-19 testing labs automatically report positive results to the state’s Department of Public Health.