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Mass. Community Colleges Announce All On-Campus Students And Staffers Must Be Vaccinated By 2022

Buttons and wristbands were handed out to vaccine recipients at the Gillette Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site in 2021. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Buttons and wristbands were handed out to vaccine recipients at the Gillette Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site in 2021. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

All faculty, staff and students who attend on-campus classes at the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 2022, the presidents of those schools announced Monday.

The heads of the Bunker Hill, Bristol, Cape Cod, Berkshire, Greenfield, Holyoke, Massasoit, MassBay, Middlesex, Mount Wachusett, North Shore, Northern Essex, Quinsigamond, Roxbury, and Springfield Technical community colleges shared messages with their campuses, noting that many of their students have been "disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The campus memos also expressed a wish to "increase the health and safety of the learning and working environment in light of the ongoing public health concerns and current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

All employees will be required to be vaccinated. Students who register for classes without any in-person components and who do not plan to come to campus for any reason for the spring 2022 semester will not be required to provide documentation of their vaccination, according to the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges.

The 15 campuses serve about 135,000 students each year. The presidents said the community colleges "are committed to ensuring vaccination status is not a barrier to students and will continue offering a range of virtual learning opportunities and services."

Many colleges and universities, including the UMass campuses, required student vaccination for the fall semester, and other state government employers, including the executive branch under Gov. Charlie Baker, have announced vaccine policies for their workforces.

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