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The COVID-19 vaccine at Northeastern



University Messages

February 4, 2021 – COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Hotline

Northeastern University’s COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine hotline is available to answer your questions about the university’s distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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January 20, 2021 – Vaccine Distribution—Phase Two

We’ve continued to fulfill our teaching and research mission throughout this global pandemic by doing our part to “protect the pack” and keep each other safe. Earlier this month, more than 500 Northeastern community members—including staff in the Life Sciences Testing Center, our COVID testing centers, and our first responders—received vaccinations in Phase One of Massachusetts’ vaccination plan. If you believe that you qualified for a vaccine in Phase One based on the Massachusetts guidelines and did not receive an invitation to schedule one, please contact

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January 9, 2021 – COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Earlier this week, Northeastern became one of the first universities in the United States to begin vaccinating its campus community. This important milestone marks a critical turning point in our continuing efforts over the last ten months to safeguard the health of the Northeastern community and help hasten the end of the pandemic.

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Vaccine Distribution Plan

Is Northeastern distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty, and staff?

Northeastern University is an authorized Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine provider. We have completed vaccinating our Phase 1 population, including COVID-facing healthcare positions and first responders. The university is currently vaccinating individuals who are 75 or older and is planning to ultimately vaccinate the entire university community according to the schedule assigned to future phases.

How will Northeastern determine the order and priority of vaccine distribution?

Massachusetts has begun Phase Two of its phased vaccine distribution, beginning with those who are 75 years or older. The state identifies the populations that fall into each phase and the order in which they become eligible. To promote an equitable and fair distribution process, we follow state and federal public health requirements for each phase of the process. Phase Three, expected to start in April 2021, includes the general public and higher education workers, including administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff.

What is the timeline for distribution?

Northeastern’s distribution timeline, the number of doses we are able to access, and the type of vaccine administered depends on the state of Massachusetts. Like all other Massachusetts vaccine providers, we will rely on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to order the vaccine and distribute it to our site.

Is vaccination mandatory?

Vaccination is not mandatory, but we strongly encourage all members of the community to get vaccinated—the critical next step in overcoming COVID-19.

Will Northeastern’s vaccine distribution include family members or people from the surrounding communities?

Due to legal restrictions, Northeastern is currently limited to distributing the vaccine to populations beyond its faculty, staff, students and contract employees. At present, Northeastern may administer the vaccine only to current Northeastern-affiliated staff, faculty, students, and vendor employees.

Will Northeastern’s vaccine distribution include Northeastern contractors, temporary workers and vendor employees?


Will Northeastern distribute vaccines at our other global network locations?

For our global network locations in the United States, vaccines will be distributed through county health departments, following the distribution recommendations outlined by the CDC and state and county health departments. The provincial governments of Ontario and British Columbia will distribute the vaccine in Toronto and Vancouver, and the National Health Service (NHS) will distribute the vaccine in the United Kingdom. Campuses will designate a point of contact who can answer questions and direct people to public health resources.

Is the vaccine available to Northeastern students, faculty, and staff who are not located in Boston?

As a Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine provider, Northeastern is only permitted to administer vaccines in the state of Massachusetts. If you live, work, or study in the state of Massachusetts you are welcome to get the vaccine through Northeastern. If you’re able to get the vaccine at a location closer to home—through a primary care provider or another vaccine distributor—we strongly encourage you to do that so you can be vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Should Northeastern community members let Northeastern know if they plan to receive the vaccine somewhere else or have no immediate plans to get the vaccination through Northeastern?

Yes. If you’ve received an invitation to schedule a vaccination but don’t have immediate plans to get the vaccine through Northeastern, please complete this brief form to let us know. Indicating your plans helps the university to plan for demand and distribute doses as quickly as possible

Vaccination Eligibility

When can I get the vaccine?

If you believe you qualify to receive the vaccine in Phase One based on your occupation, please submit the Phase One COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation form. If you believe you qualify to receive the vaccine in a later phase, please review the criteria in the Phase Two COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation form and submit the form to let us know if have a qualifying health condition or a role that qualifies you to receive a vaccine in Phase Two.

As we enter Phase Two, those who submitted the attestation and are eligible will be contacted based on Massachusetts’s Phase Two priorities and in the order that submissions were received.

Are faculty and higher education staff in Phase Two or Phase Three?

Massachusetts guidelines place most higher education employees in Phase Three. Phase Three includes “Higher education workers, including administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff.”

If Northeastern community members are in Phase Three instead of Phase Two, should they still submit the attestation form?

Yes, please submit the attestation form. Northeastern will use this information to schedule further appointments and request vaccines from the state.

How will Northeastern protect the private information of those who attest to certain medical conditions in the attestation form?

Northeastern safeguards this data using its strictest security controls. The data you submit does not become part of your personnel or student record and is only used to invite you to schedule a first and second vaccination dose.

If someone lives with a person in Phase Two, do they qualify for the vaccine in Phase Two or must they wait until Phase Three or when they are eligible?

Living with or acting as a family caretaker for a person in Phase Two doesn’t qualify someone to get the vaccination in Phase Two. Each person qualifies for Phase Two based on their own age, occupation, or certain medical conditions.

If my health status changes and I gain a comorbidity diagnosis, can I resubmit the attestation?

Yes. Visit the link to the Phase Two COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation Form and click “Cancel” in the pop-up message to resubmit the form. You will be notified by email when you are able to make an appointment for your vaccination.

Scheduling a Vaccination Appointment

Once I qualify for a vaccination, how will I schedule an appointment?

You will receive an email inviting you to use the COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduler to schedule your appointment.

When I visit the Vaccination Scheduler, why do I get a notification that I’m not yet eligible to schedule?

This means that you fall into a group that’s not yet eligible to receive the vaccine based on the Massachusetts phased distribution timeline. We encourage you to fill out the Phase Two COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation Form as soon as possible so Northeastern knows which phase you fall into. You will be notified by email when you are able to make an appointment for your vaccination.

If someone is working or studying remotely but is coming to campus for the vaccination, do they need to get a COVID-19 test?

Yes. If possible, you should plan to get tested the day before your vaccination appointment in the interest of keeping yourself and others safe.

After my first dose, will I get a notification to schedule my second dose?

Yes. You will get an email notification one week prior to the recommended date of your second dose reminding you to use the COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduler to schedule.

If I received my first dose from another provider, can I get the second dose at Northeastern?

Northeastern recommends that you get both doses from the same provider.

After Your Vaccination

Will people who get the vaccine still be required to follow Northeastern’s protocols on mask wearing, hand washing, and healthy distancing?

Yes, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Until experts learn more about the protection the vaccine provides, the CDC recommends that people continue to use face masks, wash hands often, and stay at least six feet away from others.  

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

No. At this time, people who get the vaccine should continue with their required COVID-19 testing. They will be required to isolate if they test positive and quarantine if exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. We are closely following the guidelines of the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health and will update our requirement if the guidance changes.

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. Northeastern can provide the vaccine if you make an informed decision to receive the vaccine. 

If Northeastern community members have pre-existing conditions or concerns about having an allergic reaction to the vaccine, should they plan to get the vaccine at a medical facility or at Northeastern’s vaccination site?

Please consult your primary care physician before getting a vaccination and read CDC guidelines on who should and shouldn’t get the Moderna vaccine, and who should and shouldn’t get the Pfizer vaccine. If you decide to get the vaccination at Northeastern’s testing site, please complete Northeastern’s pre-screening questionnaires so the staff is aware of any past severe allergic reactions. At Northeastern’s vaccination testing site, we will follow the guidelines to monitor individuals with allergies or any history of anaphylaxis for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. The vaccination team is prepared with EpiPens and emergency services should you have an allergic reaction to 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, or call the COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 617.373.7333

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