BU to Drop COVID Vaccine Requirement for Most Beginning This Summer
University will also close its Clinical Testing Lab by Commencement
Starting this summer, Boston University will no longer require the general population of students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—one of several policy changes in keeping with updated federal and state public health guidance.
All students, faculty, and staff who provide direct, patient-facing healthcare will still be required to “provide documentation of a COVID-19 primary series and booster or submit a religious or medical waiver,” according to an announcement sent to the BU community on Tuesday.
The University will also permanently close the COVID-19 Clinical Testing Laboratory immediately after Commencement. Free PCR testing for those with symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will continue to be available at the Health Services Annex through May 22. After that, students who need PCR testing should make an appointment through Student Health Services, and employees should go through their primary care providers.
Additionally, while the University will no longer require vaccines for the general population after Tuesday, May 23, officials still “strongly recommend” that everyone keep up with their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
“The best ways to protect yourself and others against severe COVID-19 infections is to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, wear a mask in crowded, indoor spaces, and test if you are not feeling well,” wrote Judy Platt, BU’s chief health officer and Student Health Services director , in the email sent Tuesday.
Masks are still required in all healthcare facilities at Boston University, and Platt recommends masking elsewhere for people who aren’t feeling well or who have underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The University’s policy updates follow similar guidance at the national and local levels. The federal public health emergency for COVID-19 will end on Friday, May 11. Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey announced last month that the commonwealth’s COVID-19 public health emergency would also end on May 11.