For the health and safety of all members of our community, COVID-19 vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, and vendor partners for the start of the fall semester. View the full vaccination policy. As a reminder, all students are required to be fully vaccinated prior to returning for the fall semester.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about how to submit your vaccination documentation or request a medical or religious exemption.
If you are in Massachusetts or elsewhere in the U.S. and have questions about how to sign up to get vaccinated, you can learn more at mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine or cdc.gov. You may also find it useful to visit sites such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and local medical/community health centers to sign up for vaccine appointments as they become available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Berklee requiring the vaccination?
Berklee is requiring students, faculty, staff, and our vendor partners to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to protect the health and safety of our community, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
The vaccines are extremely effective and the best tool we have to ensure that we can have a vibrant campus in the fall of 2021. High vaccine coverage is critical to preserving the health of the Berklee community and neighbors. Research continues to support the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) as well as their real-world effectiveness against COVID-19.
Who is included in the vaccination requirement?
All members of the campus community—students, faculty, staff, and our vendor partners—will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as otherwise stated in this FAQ. This includes community members who have previously had COVID-19.
How can I get vaccinated now?
If you live in the U.S. you must receive one of the following vaccines in order to meet the fully vaccinated requirement:
- Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (two doses three weeks apart)
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (two doses four weeks apart)
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine (one dose)
In addition, if you are not in the U.S., all WHO-authorized vaccines will be acceptable.
Anyone who is at least 12 years old and lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts is eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination now. If you are in Massachusetts or elsewhere in the U.S. and have questions about how to sign up to get vaccinated, you can learn more at mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine or cdc.gov. You may also find it useful to visit sites such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and local medical/community health centers to sign up for vaccine appointments as they become available.
What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
Public health officials consider an individual to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
By what date must employees be fully vaccinated?
In order to begin the fall semester with a fully vaccinated community, we are requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the start of the fall semester.
Do I need to be vaccinated if I have already had COVID-19?
Yes. Anyone who previously had COVID-19 will still be required to be vaccinated. The immunity acquired post-infection lasts about 90 days. The immunity acquired post-vaccination lasts much longer.
Will there be any exemptions to the vaccination requirement?
There will be two permitted exemptions to the Berklee’s vaccination requirement:
- Medical: A medical exemption will be granted to students, faculty, and staff for whom receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is medically inadvisable, as well as persons who are pregnant or lactating or expressing milk for a nursing child who choose not to get vaccinated.
- Religious: Consistent with federal and state law, an exemption will be granted to those with a sincerely held religious belief against vaccination.
If you would like to seek a medical or religious exemption, please do so by July 12.
- Workday: In your Workday task from July 2, upload the form.
- Email: Email the file to hremployeerelations@berklee.
- Online via Liquid: Send the file via Liquid to hremployeerelations@berklee.
- In person: Bring the document to the Human Resources office at 855 Boylston Street from Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
What happens if I refuse to be vaccinated?
Unless an exemption is granted for the two permitted exemptions (medical or religious), faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated.
Any employee refusing to follow Berklee’s safety and health protocols without a documented and approved exemption will be placed on unpaid leave. If the employee remains unvaccinated and without an approved exemption at the end of the fall semester, employment may be terminated for failure to meet the vaccination requirement.
The refusal to get vaccinated for an employee who is not eligible for a medical or religious exemption will not be a valid basis for approval to work remotely.
What if I don’t believe the vaccines are safe?
What is the legal basis for the vaccine mandate?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has advised that employers may require COVID-19 vaccinations, provided that we offer exemptions to individuals with (i) disabilities that prevent COVID-19 vaccination and (ii) sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent COVID-19 vaccination. Employers may also request that an employee provide proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination to ensure that employees have received the vaccine.
The EEOC guidance takes into account the fact that some COVID-19 vaccines are currently subject to emergency use authorization. Some COVID-19 vaccines may only be available to the public for the foreseeable future under the emergency use authorization granted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA requires vaccine providers (e.g., CVS, Walgreens) to give each individual receiving the vaccine the information contained in the Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers. In the coming months, we expect FDA approval of several, if not all, currently authorized vaccines.
What should I do with my COVID-19 vaccine information?
Staff and faculty must retain evidence of their COVID vaccination status. Employees should email their vaccine documentation to Human Resources at HRemployeerelations@berklee.edu. Alternatively, you may deliver a copy of your vaccine card in person to the Human Resources office, located at 855 Boylston Street, open Monday–Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. This information will be maintained and treated as confidential.
If I am vaccinated, do I have to wear a mask?
As of July 1, masks are no longer required indoors for those who are fully vaccinated. Over the last year, many have experienced illness and loss due to the pandemic and may wish to continue to wear masks for personal protection, despite having been fully vaccinated. We encourage everyone to respect the personal preferences of our colleagues in making choices that make them most comfortable. In alignment with the guidelines set forth by the state of Massachusetts, masks are not required outside.