COVID

UMass to require COVID-19 boosters for students, employees

The mandate will apply to 75,000 students and 18,000 faculty members.

UMass-Amherst students wear masks while walking on campus last winter. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff


COVID ON CAMPUS:

BOSTON (AP) — The University of Massachusetts is making COVID-19 vaccine booster shots mandatory for 75,000 students and 18,000 faculty and staff across all five of the system’s campuses.

The flagship UMass campus in Amherst had previously announced a booster requirement there.

Students and employees were required to receive vaccines for the fall semester, which the university in a statement said resulted in nearly 100% compliance and COVID-19 positivity rates well below national and state averages across the system.

“Vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19,” President Marty Meehan said in a statement. “The data are clear that vaccination protects us against severe illness and death.”

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More than 300 employees at the presidents’s office are also required to get a booster shot as soon as reasonably possible after they become eligible, which is six months following the Pfizer and Moderna two-shot regimens and two months after the one-shot Johnson & Johnson single-shot, the statement said.

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

The system has campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell and a medical school in Worcester.

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