UMass requiring booster shots for students, staff

  • Moonrise over the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus as seen from Hadley on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 12/28/2021 8:30:03 PM
Modified: 12/28/2021 8:29:36 PM

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts system has announced that all 75,000 students and 18,000 employees across its five campuses will be required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot “in the coming months.”

The announcement comes after the UMass Amherst campus made a similar announcement earlier this month. The Dartmouth and Chan Medical School campuses have also mandated booster shots.

In a press release Tuesday, the university system said that students on the Boston and Lowell campuses have been notified, and that administrators at those two campuses are in discussions with staff unions about implementing the booster requirement.

“Vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19,” UMass President Marty Meehan said in a statement. “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.”

The university system required students, staff and faculty to get fully vaccinated this past semester.

Because of a waiting period required between getting initial vaccine doses and a booster, no student will be denied access to campus to start the spring semester, UMass Amherst said on Dec. 22. But the university has said it plans to track booster compliance and will eventually place a hold on the accounts of those who have failed to meet the booster requirement.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.
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