COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Please see the COVID-19 Vaccination Booster page for information about booster shots.
Boston University requires all students, faculty, and staff on our campuses to be vaccinated (or to have received an approved vaccination exemption for religious or medical reasons) and to have uploaded vaccination documentation to Patient Connect (students) or the Occupational Health Center (employees). Please see below for more vaccination information, including how to upload documentation. It is very important that the University builds an accurate database of vaccinations in our community in order to best design our public health protocols.
Please note that this information may change, as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health may impose its own vaccine requirements for residents, in which case we would need to abide by any state requirements.
Additional vaccine requirements for international students
On October 25, 2021, President Biden issued A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which changes COVID-related travel restrictions for nonimmigrants entering the US. Effective November 8, 2021, the geographic travel ban restrictions were replaced with a requirement for all nonimmigrants (with some limited exceptions) traveling to the US by air from any part of the world to establish that they are fully vaccinated (completed their vaccination series at least two weeks prior) with acceptable COVID-19 vaccines or combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines. All air travelers will also continue to be required to show results of a negative coronavirus test performed on a specimen taken during the three days preceding their flight’s departure. Similar restrictions apply to entry to the US through ferry, sea, and land ports. International students with travel-related vaccine questions should contact the International Students & Scholars Office and refer to their memo Proof of Full COVID Vaccination Required to Enter the US.
The vaccine is free, and if you live, work, or study in Massachusetts, use VaxFinder.mass.gov or call 211 (if you have difficulty with internet access) to search for appointments at pharmacies, grocery store pharmacies, and other community locations.
You can also search for availability directly on pharmacy sites, contact your healthcare provider, and check local hospitals. For those on the BU Medical Campus, the Boston Medical Center is located nearby and also accessible by the BU Shuttle.
The City of Boston's vaccine in Boston website is a useful, multilingual resource for vaccine sites, location maps, eligibility, lists, and other information.
If you get your first vaccine dose locally and then leave the area, you should plan ahead and visit Vaccines.gov to find vaccination providers to get your second dose at your destination. Make sure that your second dose is the same brand as indicated on the CDC vaccination card provided at your first vaccine appointment. You can also check the CDC’s list of state health department websites to find additional vaccination locations.
BU staff (non-temporary and non-faculty) may use their COVID-19 Paid Absence benefit to take time off to get vaccinated and to recuperate from any side effects.
Current BU health and safety guidance should be observed, including mask wearing, screening, and testing by all members of the community, including fully vaccinated individuals. Visit the state's vaccine information and safety website to learn more about vaccine safety and guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.
Upload Documentation of Vaccination
Please upload your information as soon as you receive your first dose of Moderna or Pfizer or if you receive a single-dose vaccine. You will then be required to upload your completed vaccine card when you receive it. One dose of a two-dose series will grant you temporary compliance until you receive your second dose.
The documentation should not include any additional personal medical, mental health, or genetic information or history. Once you receive your vaccination documentation, we recommend that you take a photo of the documentation and store a copy on your computer.
If you have lost your vaccination card and don’t have a copy:
- Contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record.
- If you cannot contact your vaccination provider directly, contact your state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). You can find state IIS information on the CDC website. Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems.
- If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText after your first vaccine dose, you can access your vaccination information using those tools.
- If you have made every effort to locate your vaccination information, are unable to get a copy or replacement of your vaccination card, and still need a second shot, talk to a vaccination provider.
Students — How to Upload Vaccination Documentation
Individually identifiable health information you share with us will be confidential, and will not be shared.
We understand that many of our international students may be vaccinated abroad with vaccines that have not been approved for use in the United States. At this time, BU plans to accept all vaccines being offered outside the United States, including those without World Health Organization (WHO) or US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization or approval, unless federal or state guidelines mandate otherwise. Students will still be subject to travel and close contact quarantine if they receive a non-FDA/WHO approved vaccine. However, there are certain vaccination restrictions for entering the US. Please see Proof of Full COVID Vaccination Required to Enter the US for more information.
Upload Your Documentation
- Log into your Patient Connect portal.
- Click the Medical Clearances menu option, then click Update in the COVID clearance row.
- Click Upload to upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccine documentation, ensuring that the administered dates are clearly visible.
- Enter each appointment date, indicate the vaccine manufacturer, and click Done.
To file an exemption request for medical or religious reasons, choose Request for COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) message options.
If you are unable to obtain a vaccine before arriving on campus, choose “I request an extension to be able to receive my COVID vaccine once I arrive in Boston” from the “COVID-19 (Coronavirus)” message options.
More information about how to use Patient Connect is available here.
For help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty & Staff — How to Upload Vaccination Documentation
If you have already uploaded or emailed documentation, or you were vaccinated at the Charles River Vaccination Clinic, you do not need to upload documentation again. However, if you are an employee also enrolled in classes, you must upload your documentation twice, both as faculty/staff at the Occupational Health Connect Portal (see below) and as a student at Patient Connect (see above). Individually identifiable health information you share with us will be confidential, and will not be shared.
Upload Your Documentation
- Log into the Occupational Health Connect Portal using your BU username and Kerberos password.
- Select Upload COVID & Vaccine Docs from the left sidebar menu.
- Indicate the type of document you are uploading by choosing COVID-19 Vaccination Document from the dropdown menu.
- Choose your file and upload a photo of your CDC vaccination card (PNG, PDF, or JPG files only).
- To complete your document upload, select the green SUBMIT button.
After you select SUBMIT:
- You will see a brief Thank You message. You will be brought back to the home screen.
- You will receive an email from email@example.com within 5 minutes of submission to confirm your upload is complete.
- An additional email will arrive when your document has been reviewed and accepted by clinical staff.
- If you need to upload multiple documents (e.g., test results and a provider note), complete one submission process for each document.
- Find further information on the IS&T help site. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students who have non-medical questions about the vaccine may email email@example.com, or call Healthway at 617-353-0550 and press 4, from 7 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week.
- Faculty and staff who have non-medical questions about the vaccine may email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-358-4990 weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm.
- Students, faculty, or staff who have medical questions related to the vaccine and post-vaccination side effects should call Healthway at 617-353-0550 and press 2 to speak with a triage nurse, from 8 am to 4 pm, 7 days a week.