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COVID-19

Vaccination

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Key Information

  • Students attending or visiting Northeastern University’s U.S. and Canadian campuses are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Faculty and staff who work at a U.S. or Canadian campus are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Proof of immunization is required and should be submitted using the Vaccine Verification form.
  • Medical and religious exemptions can be requested through the Vaccine Verification form.

Vaccination Requirement

Is vaccination mandatory?

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.

Why is Northeastern requiring students, faculty, and staff on its U.S. and Canadian campuses 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.

Is vaccination mandatory for U.S.-based 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.

What is the vaccine requirement for students who attend our campus in 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 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.

Will there be an option for a student to take courses remotely 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.

Which vaccines will fill the requirement?

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.

If a U.S.-based student has already received an unapproved COVID-19 vaccine, should they be revaccinated?

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.

I received a vaccine not finalized on the WHO Emergency Use Listing or authorized by the FDA. What does the CDC say about receiving a new series of FDA-approved vaccines?

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.

Are there side effects of revaccination?

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.

If a Canadian student has already received an unapproved COVID-19 vaccine, should they be revaccinated?

Please refer to the Toronto FAQs and Vancouver FAQs for provincial guidance on revaccination.

If a student is not able to be fully vaccinated by the first day of classes, are they able to attend in-person classes on one of our U.S. campuses?

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.

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.

How long do I have to wait to get vaccinated if I have already had COVID?

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.

Requesting Exemptions

Can students, faculty, and staff request an exemption?

Yes. Students, faculty, and staff should complete the Vaccine Verification form to request an exemption. Northeastern community members in the U.S. may request religious and medical exemptions to the policy. Please see the Toronto FAQs and Vancouver FAQs for more information on exemptions in Canada.

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

Regardless of vaccination status, all students, faculty, and staff will need to resume wearing a face mask or face covering indoors. Faculty, staff, and students who have an approved exemption are also required to participate in weekly testing. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to wash their hands regularly and stay away from campus if they feel ill or have tested positive for COVID.

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. Unvaccinated individuals with an approved exemption should observe six feet of physical distancing from others to the greatest extent possible.

Submitting Proof of Immunization

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 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.

Privacy

How does Northeastern secure vaccine status information?

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.

If I’m a faculty member, will I get a roster telling me which students are fully vaccinated?

No. Vaccine status information is treated confidentially by the university, as we would do with any medical information shared by employees.

If I’m a supervisor or department chair, will I be informed which staff or faculty are fully vaccinated?

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.

Vaccine Access

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?

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.

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

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.

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 and to 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.

International Students

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. 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.

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

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.

Will a student be able to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the 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 the 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.

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.

After Vaccination

Will fully vaccinated staff, faculty, and students still have regular testing requirements?

Yes. All faculty, staff, and students—both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated with an approved exemption—on U.S. campuses are required to have a weekly COVID-19 test if they are on campus one day a week or more. These testing requirements may be revised as the fall 2021 term progresses.

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 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.

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