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Northeastern to require students, staff to get Covid-19 booster shots by mid-January

Northeastern University today told students, faculty and other workers they will have to show proof of a booster Covid-19 shot by Jan. 18.

The only exceptions are for people who have gotten their second Pfizer or Moderna shot less then six months ago - or a Johnson and Johnson shot less than two months ago. Such people will then have a week after their minimum post-shot period to show proof of a booster.

The new directive applies even to employees who have permission to work entirely remotely.

Workers who don't comply may be placed on unpaid leave. On-campus students may be temporarily suspended until they do.

Northeastern Covid-19 dashboard.


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Bentley University, Boston College, Emerson College and UMass Amherst all announced their booster requirements yesterday.


Voting closed 22

It's simply just expected behavior for any responsible organization at this point.

Voting closed 38

For those who haven't yet reached six months out.

I realize that vaccine availability in six weeks may be different, but booster appointments right now through drugstores like CVS or Walgreens are looking like they did back in the winter and spring of this year -- you might be able to grab an appointment in two weeks if you find one early before they all disappear. It might be more reasonable if Northeastern were going to host a daily walk-in clinic for its affiliates but they can't be bothered to put in that level of effort.

Keep in mind that most of the population covered by this order wouldn't have even been eligible in this state to be fully-vaccinated until mid-May (assuming a two-dose vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna).

There's really no scientific basis for requiring a booster within a week of a fairly arbitrary point like six months out.

Voting closed 26

since the requirement doesn't go into effect until 1/18, which is 5 1/2 weeks away from now. If someone chooses not to use the next 5 weeks to figure out when the requirement applies to them, that is a poor choice on their part.

I won't dispute that "exactly six months plus one week" doesn't seem like a strongly supported period of time, but there's no other time frame I could think of that would be anything but more arbitrary at this point.

As for walk-in clinics: there's two days next week, which happens to also be finals week and many students may not want to risk vaccine side effects while studying for and taking their exams. After that, most of the undergraduates will be away from campus until at least early January, so it's not like setting up daily walk-in clinics for the next 4 weeks would be particularly helpful.

If the lead up to the spring semester is anything like this current semester, there will be vaccine clinics on campus before the start date of the semester, which is the same date this new requirement goes into effect.

Voting closed 17

Few vaccine clinics open up appointments more than a week or two out, so it's not as if one could book an appointment for, say, January 24 right now.

Like I said, if the college administration really cared about student welfare, they'd commit to having a daily walk-in clinic once students return to campus and through at least early March -- to cover those who got their shots just before the start of the academic year. Instead it looks like their primary concerns will be compliance and media exposure.

Voting closed 23

There are walkins available elsewhere than on campus, and, think of it, places not in Boston where students can get boosters. Honestly, you seem to be intent on manufacturing difficulties.

Voting closed 9

Not everyone could get vaccinated just as soon as they were eligible, and it may not be feasible to get an appointment within the grace period.

Given that immunity wanes *slowly*, the grace period could be increased to about a month with no significant loss in coverage and with a large increase in reasonableness.

Voting closed 6

Good for Northeastern for requiring boosters for all students by mid-January. What the hell took them so long, anyhow/

Voting closed 5

Has anyone required boosters sooner?

Voting closed 8

Letter from the BU President Robert Brown sent to the BU community this morning:

We will require all members of our community—students, faculty, staff, and affiliates—who are eligible (six months past completing their initial Moderna or Pfizer vaccination; two months past the Johnson & Johnson vaccination) to demonstrate that you have had the booster shot by February 4 (or as soon as your eligibility allows).

Voting closed 5