COVID-19 Vaccinations in Massachusetts

Jan. 29, 2021

Dear Brandeis Community,

There is intense interest across the country and within our community in the rollout of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines. We all fervently hope that once sufficient numbers of people are vaccinated, we can return to something closer to our pre-pandemic levels of personal interaction.

Unfortunately, alongside this great hope has come confusion, delays and some disappointment, as vaccine rollout has been uneven, as questions of equity have arisen, and as our public health systems struggle to meet demand. States are individually determining the phasing of vaccination, and for those of us whose lives cross state lines - including many of our students - this adds additional confusion.

Below you will find information specific to Massachusetts’ phasing of vaccinations, including an illustration of the different phases, as well as how this information impacts Brandeis and our campus community members. You will note that the majority of our campus community is currently NOT eligible to receive vaccinations until Phase 3, which is estimated to begin in April. Again, this is a Massachusetts regulation: please understand that Brandeis is not able to help any member of our community get the vaccine earlier than the state will allow.

At Brandeis, our Public Health Advisory Committee, Health Center and others are carefully watching the state rollout, partnering with local health providers, and advocating for getting members of our community access to vaccinations as quickly as possible. Brandeis does not have any vaccine to provide at this time.

Also, please know that the Brandeis Student Health Center, per its scope and area of expertise, is not able to advise or assist faculty and staff in obtaining vaccinations. We ask that faculty and staff be respectful of our Health Center staff who have been inundated with vaccine-related calls that are interfering with their important work in student health.

We know it is frustrating that we don’t have all the answers related to vaccines. As Brandeis has done throughout the pandemic; we are committed to bringing you the latest information we have as soon as we have it, and we will continue to provide updates.

Dan Kim
Senior Vice President, Communications, Marketing and External Relations

Massachusetts phases, and where we are at Brandeis

The state of Massachusetts established three phases for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine:

The infographics below from the state of Massachusetts further illustrate its current vaccination plans.

Students who were already vaccinated out-of-state Some states have made different public health decisions than Massachusetts and have made the vaccine available to younger populations sooner. If you are a student who has received one dose of the vaccine, you may request a travel exception from the Dean of Students Office to return to your home state to receive your scheduled second dose, and you must follow Massachusetts travel regulations when returning to Waltham.

All Brandeis’ health requirements still apply to those who are vaccinated It’s important to know that people who are vaccinated take time to develop immunity, and can still transmit COVID-19 to others. Even if you have been vaccinated, you must continue to:

Will Brandeis make the COVID vaccine mandatory? At this time, the vaccine is approved under an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; as such, no employer or university can require that employees or students get the vaccine at this time.

Image using arrows describing Massachusetts Phase 1 and Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccination eligibility status.

Source: Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Image describing the groups of people elligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines in each of Massachusetts' three phases of the vaccine rollout.

Source: Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Information