News, On Campus

University Sends Email Mandating COVID-19 Booster Shots

Members of the Boston College community who plan to be on campus for any part of the spring semester are required to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccine when eligible, according to an email sent out by Vice President for Human Resources David Trainor and Director of University Health Services Douglas Comeau on Tuesday.

“Boston College has benefited from an extremely high level of vaccination this semester (99.3%) that has helped keep our community safe and has enabled our students, faculty, and staff to experience as normal a year as possible,” the email reads. “Vaccinations and boosters are helping to make COVID-19 a manageable illness.”

On Dec. 8, The Boston Globe reported that BC would require booster shots for the spring semester—six days before BC sent the official announcement. 

“[BC] will require a COVID-19 booster shot for all students, faculty, and staff, we are working on the logistics now, given the six-month waiting period for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” Associate Vice President for University Communications Jack Dunn said in the Globe article. 

The only exceptions to this new mandate will be for community members who previously received a religious or medical exception to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at the start of the semester.

BC community members must upload their booster card by Feb. 9, which is six months from when BC students were required to receive their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Both students and staff will upload their cards through the Agora Portal. 

BC offered several vaccination booster clinics this semester and will continue to do so next semester, according to the email.

“We encourage you to receive a booster shot as soon as you are eligible at one of the BC booster clinics or at a local pharmacy during the Christmas break,” the email reads. “Those who have already received their booster or who receive it at home in the coming weeks should upload their vaccination/booster card and information as soon as possible.”

All BC community members must also be tested for COVID-19 before the first day of spring semester classes on Jan. 18. 

Faculty and staff will be tested between Jan. 10 and Jan. 14, on-campus students will be tested during move-in days between Jan. 15 and Jan. 17, and off-campus students should be tested before engaging in on-campus activities, “preferably during the January 10-14 period,” the email reads.

On Monday, the University reported its highest number of undergraduate cases of COVID-19 this semester, with 94 undergraduate positives out of 10,505 tests performed since Sunday, according to its BC Forward website. 

“As we know, COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future and we must learn to live with the virus,” the email reads. “We assure you that the University will remain vigilant and flexible in our approach. We are grateful for all those who have helped safeguard the health of our campus community and we ask for your continued cooperation and assistance.”

Featured Image Courtesy of Nicole Vagra / Heights Staff

December 14, 2021