July 19, 2021
Throughout the summer we have worked with our faculty and staff to get all members of our community vaccinated against COVID-19 because vaccination of the great majority of our community is critical for the safe repopulation of our campuses. I write today to let you know that we have made the decision to require vaccination for all faculty and staff to return to campus this fall, in alignment with the current requirement for students. The vaccines (which have FDA Emergency Use Authorization) have proven to be highly effective in preventing the COVID-19 infection or dramatically reducing its severity, thereby preventing death or debilitation. We also know that the risk of disease transmission by an infected person is significantly reduced if that individual is vaccinated.
As you know from prior communications, we previously mandated that all our students be vaccinated for the Fall 2021 Semester. It is critically important that our faculty and staff are also vaccinated. We hoped to accomplish the goal of community-wide vaccination without a mandate, but kept the option of requiring vaccination open if we did not reach our goal.
On May 28th we asked all faculty and staff to disclose their vaccination status and plan. To date, 72.1% of faculty and 76.4% of staff and affiliates have completed the survey or provided proof of vaccination. From this survey and from the uploaded vaccination information we know that only 71.3% of faculty and 73.6% of staff are currently or will be vaccinated by August 1.
These totals are significantly below what we need to safely return our campuses to near-normal operation in the fall. Accordingly, we are now requiring that all University employees and affiliates be vaccinated by September 2, 2021. We will offer walk-in vaccination clinics on the Charles River Campus. Additional information about these will be communicated by Healthway. All Boston Medical Center vaccination sites are accepting walk-ins and the 85 East Concord Street site is conveniently located near the BU Shuttle Medical Campus stop. Vaccines can also be found using the MA vaccine finder.
You are required to upload your vaccination record onto the Healthway portal before that date.
As we did with our student mandate, we will accept requests for exemptions based on medical conditions or religious beliefs. Healthway will be communicating more information about this process shortly. The consequences for those failing to get vaccinated and who do not receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons may include additional public health measures not required for vaccinated people and, in some cases, being placed on a leave of absence until the individual is either vaccinated or the risk of infection from COVID-19 is deemed to have ended.
We all share responsibility for the health of the Boston University community. Please get vaccinated and upload vaccination documents before September 2nd. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact email@example.com. Thank you for playing an important role in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.
Robert A. Brown