Harvard announces new bivalent COVID booster requirement

Are other Mass. schools soon to follow?

Kayana Szymczak
The campus of Harvard University in Cambridge. Kayana Szymczak/The New York Times

Harvard will require the new bivalent COVID-19 booster for students, the school announced Monday.

All students who plan to be on campus from January onward must receive the new booster “to ensure they are up-to-date,” the school said on its website. To get the shot, students must have a minimum of two months since their last COVID booster. Medical and religious exemptions still apply.

Harvard University Health Services will offer the booster, which targets strains of the omicron variant, by appointment only. Students can schedule their shot here.

Harvard is one of the first Boston-area schools to require the new booster, which became available Sept. 2. Tufts University in Medford mandated the booster in an email to students, faculty, and staff Sept. 16.


“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Indeed, SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, is becoming an endemic infectious disease, and we continue to see new cases on our campuses,” Tufts health officials wrote in the email.

Other schools, such as Boston College, are offering the booster, but have not yet put a regulation in place. 

According to Inside Higher Ed, fewer than 20 schools across the country have mandated the bivalent booster for their students.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story omitted Tufts University’s bivalent vaccine requirement.


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