Updated: BU to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to Students, Faculty, and Staff Starting Monday
Several thousand Moderna vaccine doses will be available for a first or second vaccine shot at FitRec clinics May 3 to 7
Editor’s note: Updated May 4 — BU’s Moderna vaccine program is now available for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the University will administer first doses, as well as second doses to those who may have received their first dose elsewhere.
Boston Medical Center (BMC) has provided Boston University with several thousand doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to give to BU students, faculty, and staff seeking their first shot. These vaccines will be administered Monday, May 3, through Friday, May 7.
Student Health Services (SHS) emailed students on Friday, April 30, with instructions on how to book appointments at the clinics, to be held from 9 am to 4 pm each day at the Fitness & Recreation Center (use the 3-Court Gym entrance across from 25 Buick Street). The email contains all the information needed to make an appointment using the Patient Connect online scheduler.
A separate email was sent to faculty and staff on Sunday morning with instructions on how to schedule an appointment. The email provides additional details, including how to complete the preregistration form.
Any student, faculty, or staff member seeking a vaccine is urged to sign up as quickly as possible, as they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Like more than 100 colleges and universities regionally and across the country, BU has said all students attending classes in the fall will be required to provide proof of vaccination. The University has not yet made a decision about whether faculty and staff will be required to provide similar proof of vaccination. BU has performed more than one million COVID-19 tests on students, faculty, and staff since last August.
The upcoming clinics are specifically for members of the BU community requiring their first shot. Those who have already received a first shot should get their second at the site of their first inoculation. Those who get a first vaccine at BU’s clinics this week will need to schedule a second shot, either at BU in follow-up clinics scheduled at FitRec June 2, 3, and 4, or at vaccination sites near their homes. Students seeking a second dose in their home state can use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s VaccineFinder.
The Moderna vaccine requires a second shot four weeks after the first to achieve maximum protection against the coronavirus.
“Given the timing of students leaving for the semester, BMC recognized this important opportunity to help students get vaccinated,” says Judy Platt, director of SHS and chair of BU’s Medical Advisory Group. “Providing doses directly to BU allows us to provide quick and easier access to vaccination appointments for members of the BU community. We opened up appointments first to students and are fortunate to be able to extend this opportunity to faculty and staff.”
BMC, the School of Medicine’s teaching hospital, “has provided an incredible service to Boston and surrounding communities and vaccinated thousands of patients through their numerous public vaccination sites,” Platt says. “Everyone is encouraged to continue booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments through BMC, especially if early morning or evening appointments are desired. They also have information in several languages available on their sites.” Eligible people (those age 16 and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts) can schedule a shot at the South End hospital here.
There can be side effects to the vaccine, particularly after second doses. Vaccinated people may experience arm pain, fatigue, headache, fever, and/or chills for several hours or longer before the symptoms pass. With final exams beginning the day after Monday’s clinics, Platt says the University understands the timing of the vaccinations may be “a little challenging” for test-taking students, “but we are grateful to be receiving these vaccines from BMC and hope many students will take advantage of this opportunity.”
“The supply [of vaccines] is really starting to increase, and that happened right during this time period,” she says.
International students currently residing in campus housing will be permitted to remain there long enough to participate in the June clinics if they opt to receive their second shot at BU. Domestic students currently living on campus who want a second BU shot should find off-campus housing (or schedule their second shot back home).
The COVID-19 vaccination clinics are sponsored by SHS and BU’s Occupational Health Center.