College

UMass Amherst will require students to get booster shots for spring semester

The new requirement set out by the university is believed to be the first in Massachusetts and one of the first in the country. 

The requirement is solely for the Amherst campus, and no other UMass schools as of right now. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

All students at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will be required to get a COVID-19 booster shot before returning to campus for the spring semester, according to a statement that was released by the chancellor Wednesday afternoon. All adults over the age of 18 are now eligible for a booster shot in the U.S. 

The new requirement set out by the university is believed to be the first in Massachusetts and one of the first in the country. 

“The vaccine booster, combined with the advance testing … and ongoing wastewater testing, adaptive testing, convenient voluntary testing options and our indoor mask requirement represent a comprehensive approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure a safe and successful spring for our community,” Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy wrote. 

Vaccines & Mandates:

In the statement, students were directed to Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine finder or Vaccines.gov to find available booster shots, as the campus Public Health Promotion Center vaccine clinic has no appointments available for the rest of the semester. Appointments will be added again in January, according to the statement.

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The requirement is solely for the Amherst campus, and no other UMass schools as of right now, according to Executive Director of News and Media Relations Ed Blaguszewski. 

UMass Amherst students are also required to take a COVID-19 test between 10 to 14 days prior to their first day of spring semester classes, according to the statement. They are able to choose from three types of advance testing options: mail-in test, test in person or test at a Stop the Spread location. 

The news comes after an uptick in cases from the holidays and the first identified case of the new variant, omicron, in the U.S. Universities in the Boston area such as Northeastern University and Boston College are recommending students receive a booster shot, but it is not yet a requirement. 

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