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UMass Lowell to Require Student COVID-19 Vaccinations for Fall

By Joseph Hartman

Consistent with the growing consensus of colleges and universities across the country, UMass Lowell will require all residential and commuter students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the beginning of the fall semester to live, learn or visit any UMass Lowell campus or property.

The university is making this decision based on widely anticipated additional state and federal public health guidelines in the coming months as well as ample vaccine availability at vaccination sites across Massachusetts and throughout the country.

We also strongly believe this policy is our most effective tool to return to the vibrant, dynamic and interpersonal pre-pandemic campus life that so many of us are eager to recreate. Yesterday’s announcement that Massachusetts’s outdoor mask mandate will be lifted April 30 represents the latest example of progress we plan to build on for the fall.

As with other vaccination requirements, UMass Lowell will accommodate medical, disability and religious exemptions consistent with state and federal laws. And just as with other disease vaccinations that have long been required by the university, COVID-19 vaccination documentation must be uploaded to the Student Health Services Patient Portal.

An FAQ is available and additional answers and details will be communicated in the coming days and weeks.

At this time, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to obtain full vaccination as soon as possible and we are encouraged by results of a recent survey that indicated that nearly 90 percent of employees planned to do so by the beginning of fall semester.

Unvaccinated individuals may be expected to participate in additional public health measures, such as regular asymptomatic surveillance testing, and other measures consistent with the current vaccine exemption policy to help ensure the health of the campus community.

In addition to numerous vaccination options across the country, including through your personal care provider, UMass Lowell continues to partner with Lowell General Hospital to provide members of the campus community with hundreds of appointments each week at LGH’s mass vaccination site at 1001 Pawtucket Blvd. in Lowell. All current and admitted students and employees are able to sign up with a university email address and will automatically be rolled into the following week if this week’s appointments are full.

While the vast majority of students and employees have already indicated they plan to be vaccinated as soon as possible, this requirement will help ensure a far safer campus as well as permit campus interactions and operations much more in line with pre-pandemic levels.