Covid-19: College In Western Mass Latest To Require Students Get Vaccinated

Students returning to campus at Smith College next fall will be required to get vaccinated before heading back to the classroom.

Smith College
Smith College Photo Credit: Smith College

With its intention of fully reopening the college to full in-person learning in the fall, the college, located in Northampton, announced that anyone returning to campus for the 2021-2022 school year must be vaccinated, barring specific religious or health concerns.

According to President Kathleen McCartney, the move comes after the College secured sufficient doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to vaccinate all undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in the school's COVID-19 screening.

Additionally, the college is offering on-campus vaccine clinics on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25 for students who want to get the vaccine on campus to be complete the vaccination process before heading home before summer break.

McCartney said that the college will also be assisting international students and others who cannot get US-approved vaccines before heading back to campus in the fall.

"Students should verify that they are fully vaccinated prior to their fall 2021 arrival by uploading vaccine records to the Schacht Center’s confidential patient portal," she said, "Instructions can be found on the center’s website. As with other required vaccinations, requests for medical or religious exemptions will be reviewed and accommodated on a case-by-case basis." 

McCartney added that Smith College is also working to secure additional vaccination doses to help more members of the community receive the COVID-19 shot, though they are currently prioritizing students before they leave campus.

"By providing an on-campus option, Smith will reduce the burden on local vaccination clinics and give students the opportunity to schedule and receive both vaccine doses prior to the college’s move-out date," she said. "We continue to encourage all members of our community to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.

Earlier this month, Smith College announced it would be returning to full in-person classes beginning on Thursday, Sept. 2, with all students permitted to live on campus.

"Since March of last year, members of the Smith community have acted to protect each other and minimize the spread of COVID-19, and continue the teaching and learning that is at the core of our mission,” McCartney wrote. “While this past year has been stressful, it has also proven how undaunted we are in the face of challenges, and how resilient we can be.”

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