All returning Simmons students must receive the COVID-19 vaccine before arriving on campus in the fall according to email from the President

The+Simmons+University+Main+College+Building.+Image+courtesy+of+Simmons+University

The Simmons University Main College Building. Image courtesy of Simmons University

Sarah Carlon, Editor-in-Chief

All Simmons students enrolled in on-campus classes for the fall 2021 semester will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus, according to an email today from President Lynn Perry Wooten.

This requirement includes Simmons students who participate in “face-to-face curricular and co-curricular activities at any of our Boston or remote locations,” according to the email, including all “face-to-face classes, immersion weekends, off-site cohorts, and other in-person events at these locations.” 

The vaccine requirement does not apply to students in field placements and internships, however President Wooten noted that those students must comply with the health and safety guidelines at their designated placement. 

President Wooten also noted that this announcement comes as vaccine availability has expanded in Massachusetts, with everyone sixteen and older eligible to receive the vaccine. 

“The progress we are making on vaccination rates is critical to our ability to achieve a vibrant on-campus living and learning experience this fall,” she said in the email. “Science has shown that the vaccines are very effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to help prevent serious illness and hospitalization.” 

The goal of the University is to have all on-campus students vaccinated before their arrival in the fall, and President Wooten advised all returning students to be fully vaccinated by July 1.

Students who require a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination policy are encouraged to reach out to the Simmons University Health Center to discuss this process. The University will be sharing additional details on the process of submitting proof of vaccination in the coming weeks. 

President Wooten acknowledged that this vaccine requirement will work in tandem with the construction updates made to academic and residential campuses to ensure a return to campus that is as safe as possible. These updates include the “installation of new HVAC in the Main College Building; inspections of ventilation systems on the academic campus; new signage; readily available PPE; and stringent cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting protocols,” according to the email.

While we look forward to a lively fall experience, we understand that COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in parts of the country. I urge everyone to continue to follow university, local, state and federal health guidance – which is designed to keep all of us safe,” the email said.

Anyone with questions on the new vaccination policy is encouraged to email preparedness@Simmons.edu. Visit Simmons’ website on COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ’s for more information.