Daily News

UMass to Require COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Across Five-campus System

AMHERST — All 75,000 students and 18,000 faculty and staff members across the five-campus University of Massachusetts system will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster in the coming months.

Students, faculty, and staff were all required to receive the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines this fall. Nearly 100% of students, faculty, and staff have been vaccinated, which has kept COVID-19 positivity rates well below national and state averages across the university system.

UMass President Marty Meehan recently informed the 320 employees of the Office of the President that they are required to get a booster shot as soon as reasonably possible after they become eligible (six months following the Pfizer and Moderna two-shot regimens and two months after the Johnson & Johnson single shot). UMass Amherst, UMass Dartmouth, and the UMass Chan Medical School have made similar announcements. UMass Boston and UMass Lowell have notified students of the requirement and are in discussions with employee unions regarding implementation of the requirement.

“Vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19,” Meehan said. “The data are clear that vaccination protects us against severe illness and death. I urge everyone to get vaccinated and, as soon as they are eligible, get a booster.”

Employees who have been granted a religious or medical exemption from the vaccination requirement are exempt from the booster requirement.