Northeastern to require booster vaccines for spring semester


Marta Hill

Northeastern announced a COVID-19 booster vaccine requirement for all students, faculty and staff. Members of the Northeastern community on all campuses must present proof of vaccination by Jan. 18, 2022, or a week after they become eligible.

Jessica Silverman and Gwen Egan

In an email to students Thursday, Northeastern announced it would require students, faculty and staff to receive booster shots by Jan. 18, 2022, or seven days after they become eligible.

This announcement follows similar decisions announced yesterday by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Emerson College and Boston College to require COVID-19 booster vaccinations by the beginning of their spring semester. 

The university cited increased protections against the Omicron variant for mandating the booster shot, which is available to all Massachusetts residents aged 18 and older who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccines at least six months ago. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago are also eligible for boosters. 

“The FDA has approved a COVID-19 booster shot in the U.S. for anyone ages 18 and older – and the latest scientific evidence suggests that a booster shot offers significant improvement in protection against the Omicron variant,” wrote Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning Ken Henderson. 

The requirement applies to faculty and staff who teach both in-person and remotely. 

Northeastern previously encouraged students to get the booster shots in an email to students Nov. 23. 

“We want to encourage everyone in the Northeastern community who is eligible to receive a booster shot, to do so. Consistent with our decision to require vaccination of all students, faculty, staff, and contract employees, we believe that vaccination remains essential to successfully manage the pandemic,” Henderson wrote. 

The university encouraged students to use its partner Pelmeds to schedule an appointment for either Dec. 14 or Dec. 16 at the Cabot Testing Center. All members of the Northeastern community can schedule their appointment through this system. 

Massachusetts residents can search for available booster shot locations through the Massachusetts Vaxfinder website. Booster shots can also be administered at local pharmacies across the United States.