Important: COVID-19 vaccination updates
April 8, 2021
Dear Brandeis Community,
We want to make sure our entire community is aware that as of April 19, anyone 16 or older living in Massachusetts will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This means that all of our students, faculty, and staff will be eligible to receive the vaccine. While this represents enormous progress in the work to contain the pandemic in Massachusetts, unfortunately it does not mean that vaccines are plentiful and easy to obtain. Because of supply limitations, the state expects it will still take several months for everyone who would like to be vaccinated to get the vaccine.
At Brandeis, we have been working tirelessly to provide vaccines directly to our community. We have secured a pharmacy partner, we have completed all the necessary requirements with the state to supply vaccines through our health center, and we are preparing the Campus Passport Portal for scheduling appointments at a vaccination clinic. However, as with most other non-mass vaccination sites, we and our vaccination partners are still waiting for vaccines to be allocated to us by the state. This is a complex process that involves the state and the vaccine manufacturers, and it is entirely outside of Brandeis’ control. If and when we are notified that we will receive vaccines, we will reach out as quickly as possible to invite you to sign up. Please understand that we may not receive enough doses to vaccinate our entire community immediately, and we may not receive them before students leave at the end of the semester.
Since we do not have control over how much vaccine we receive, which brand of vaccine we receive, or when we will receive it, we are encouraging you to seek other options for receiving the vaccine as soon as you become eligible. As you have likely heard in the media, it has been very challenging to sign up for appointments. Below, we have compiled some resources that other Massachusetts residents are using to secure vaccine appointments:
- Everyone can pre-register for a vaccine at a state mass vaccination site. Using the state’s online tool, signing up now means you will be notified when appointments are available. Anyone can register for the notifications.
- Brandeis is making arrangements to provide transportation to the Natick mass vaccination site for students who have vaccination appointments. More details will be sent as we get closer to April 19.
- Local pharmacies, such as the CVS at 800 Lexington St. in Waltham, are offering vaccines; unlike the state’s mass vaccination sites, you cannot register until you are eligible (which is April 19, for individuals who do not qualify for earlier Massachusetts vaccination phases).
- The Twitter account @vaccinetime provides followers with notifications of appointments in Massachusetts when they become available.
- The Facebook group Vaccine Hunters/Angels Massachusetts offers advice and information about finding appointments.
- Sign up with CovidVaccineTexts.com for texts about vaccines available near you.
Please remember: It takes several weeks to obtain immunity from the vaccine - and for any vaccine other than Johnson & Johnson’s, two doses plus a waiting period after the second injection are required until full immunity is achieved. We have had incidents of students traveling to their home states or distant vaccination sites to get their initial vaccination, who have tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return. Brandeis will not approve travel to another state for the purpose of receiving a vaccine. All Brandeis’ policies and procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 will continue to apply to anyone who receives a vaccine.
While the rapid development and availability of vaccines is a truly remarkable scientific achievement, we realize that the wait for vaccinations has been frustrating. We will continue to provide our community with updates as they are available. Please visit the vaccination page of our COVID-19 Response website for additional information, resources, and updates on vaccinations. And please be sure to upload verification of your completed vaccination, when you receive it, into the Campus Passport.
Carol Fierke, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stew Uretsky, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance