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Immunization Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Students

Massachusetts Higher Education Testing Group has released guidance that residential colleges and universities should do everything possible to ensure very high levels of vaccination (at least 80% and ideally above 90%) on their campuses. 

During the fall semester, over 98% of Lesley faculty and staff and over 96% of students authorized to be on campus were fully vaccinated against COVID-19; all others had approved exemptions.

We are requiring all Lesley undergraduate and graduate students who will be on campus for any reason to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. As of December 23, 2021, we updated our COVID-19 vaccine requirements to require all students studying on campus to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine booster once eligible. Information is available at vaxfinder.mass.gov for Massachusetts locations offering vaccine boosters.

Due to the eligibility criteria, there will be a rolling deadline for obtaining the vaccine booster. All individuals who are eligible to receive a booster on or before January 15, 2022, must comply by February 15, 2022. Individuals who are eligible after January 15, 2022, will have 30 days from their date of eligibility to comply with this policy.

All previously approved medical and religious accommodations specific to COVID-19 vaccination will apply to the vaccine booster requirement. Students should contact the Dean of Students and employees should contact the Office of Human Resources with any changes or questions.

Submitting Proof of Immunization

If you are registered to attend a residency or course on campus or are considering coming to campus for any reason, you must first submit immunization documentation by the following date and then receive written approval from Dean Mays that you are clear to be on campus before coming to campus:

  • January 4, 2022, for On-Campus programs and courses that begin on January 24, 2022

To help ensure we receive your complete documentation, and that we will have adequate time to review it and/or request additional information without it impacting your scheduled time to be on campus, please review the following information carefully.

Without the required documents, and written approval to be on campus from Dean Mays, you will not be able to come to campus. Note: if you were approved to be on campus for this past summer, or for the fall, you do not need to submit this information again.

You must upload your COVID-19 vaccination card and complete documentation for all the required immunizations, along with proof of a current flu vaccine(Note: if you have just recently received your 2nd COVID-19 vaccine, please know that you will not be considered fully vaccinated and cannot be cleared to come to campus until 14 days after the 2nd dose). If you previously emailed your immunization documentation and COVID-19 vaccination card, you will need to upload the documentation to JotForm.

Immunizations Required by Massachusetts Law

Full-time undergraduate and graduate students and all international students are legally required to submit proof of immunization from several diseases to be able to attend college in the state of Massachusetts. However, because we are in a pandemic, we have decided as an institution to require all students coming to campus to show proof of the state-mandated immunizations.

Complete the online forms for Required Immunizations and Tuberculosis Screening for undergraduate students.

Complete the online form for Required Immunizations and Tuberculosis Screening for Graduate, LCAL, and Bachelor's Completion Students.

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

    Two vaccines are given after the first birthday, and at least one month apart, or a positive serological test for all these diseases are required. If you were born before 1957, you don’t require any vaccines or tests.

  • Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap)

    One vaccine administered within the last 10 years and remaining valid for the duration of your full-time studies is required. There is no test to prove immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

  • Hepatitis B

    A series of three immunizations where the second dose is given no sooner than one month after the first dose and the third dose is given no sooner than five months after the second dose. A serological test showing positive immunity to Hepatitis B is an acceptable alternative.

  • Chicken Pox/Varicella

    Two doses of vaccine, given at least one month apart; or the date of diagnosed illness; or immunity demonstrated by a serological test. If you were born before 1980, you don’t need an immunization or a test.

  • Meningococcal vaccine for bacterial Meningitis

    If you’ll be living on campus, you‘re required to document that you’ve had the vaccine within five years, or sign the Meningococcal Student Waiver stating that you understand the risks and choose not to receive the vaccine.

Other Immunization Requirements

In addition to the state-mandated immunization requirements listed above, all Lesley undergraduate and graduate students who will be on campus for any reason are required to provide documentation for Tuberculosis Risk Assessment and Flu Shots.

  • Tuberculosis Risk Assessment

    Complete a Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Questionnaire using the online JotForm. Upon submission of this section in JotForm, students requiring additional screening must have a licensed healthcare provider fill out a Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment 2021-2022 form (PDF) and upload it to JotForm.

  • Flu Shots

    All students who will be on campus are required to submit proof of a current flu shot. Being protected against the flu is especially important this year because flu and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar.

Medical and Religious Exemptions from Immunizations      

You may be considered exempt from the Massachusetts College Immunization Law if one of the following applies to you:

  • Medical exemption – if a physician submits documentation attesting that an immunization is medically contraindicated
  • Religious exemption – if a student submits a written statement that immunizations conflict with their sincere religious beliefs
  • Regarding medical and religious exemptions
    • Massachusetts law does not allow philosophical exemptions, even if signed by a physician.
    • Only medical and religious exemptions are acceptable.
    • Exemptions must be kept in the students’ files.
    • If an outbreak of measles, mumps, or rubella should occur on campus, you will be considered susceptible and required to remain off campus.
    • Immunization records or titer results may fulfill the immunization requirements and prevent exclusion from the campus in the event of an outbreak.
    • Please review the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Immunization Exemption Guidelines (doc).
    • We'll consider each exemption request on a case-by-case basis and determine if your request is approved.
    • Please email Dean Nathaniel Mays at nmays@lesley.edu  or call 617.349.8539  if you have any questions or if you wish to request a religious or  medical exemption from the state mandated immunization requirements or  the university's required COVID-19 proof of vaccination.
  • Applying for an exemption from immunizations

    Submit your records and a letter from your healthcare provider to document previous immunizations, a physician-verified diagnosis, and/or positive titer result, to Dean Mays at nmays@lesley.edu

    • The titer is a blood test, which determines the level of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella; chickenpox; and hepatitis B, and may be used as an alternative to immunizations.
    • There is no test to prove immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough), so you’ll need to have a Tdap to fulfill the Massachusetts State Immunization requirements.

Places to Get Vaccines in Cambridge

If you’re in the Boston area and you don’t have a primary care provider, but you require immunizations, the following locations provide vaccines.

Remember to take your health insurance card to your appointment. There may be fees for vaccines, so we recommend calling ahead to find out how much your insurance will cover.

Contacts for Immunization Inquiries