The majority of foreign universities are making every attempt to return to on-campus life, and successful vaccination rollouts are greatly assisting in this effort. So, if you plan to study overseas, you can get vaccinated as soon as possible, as many foreign educational institutions, including the world-renowned Boston University, have made vaccination obligatory for international students enrolling in the fall 2021 semester.
Boston University has released an official statement regarding the obligation of vaccine for international students. Boston University urges the prospective international students to receive the vaccine which is available in their country. In a letter for students and faculty members, Boston University President Robert A. Brown has written that, “Our goal is to move to a ‘new normal’ in the fall that includes only minimal social distancing, where all our facilities are open, students can move freely between residences, and guests are welcome.”
However, concerns have been raised about whether unvaccinated students would be eligible to enroll for the fall intake of 2021 if they do not have access to vaccine. In response, the institution has announced that if students do not have access to vaccines, the institute will make every effort to ensure that they are vaccinated upon their arrival at the university campus this fall. However it is still unclear if educational institutes will be provided doses, after the government suspended on-campus vaccination earlier this year. So if vaccines are not available on-campus, in that case students will be able to get vaccinated in the nearby vaccination sites.
Boston University requires the students who have completed their vaccination, to submit their vaccination documents to BU Healthway.
However exceptions have been made for those students who are hesitant to get vaccinated due to many medical and religious reasons, Robert A. Brown suggested that “Waivers to the vaccination requirement will be available to those who have medical contraindications or religious objections to vaccination.”
Are staff member also required to get vaccinated?
The staff and faculty members of Boston University are advised to get the vaccination, however the university has not made it compulsory for them to get vaccinated. Robert A. Brown issued a statement regarding the staff and faculty members. He wrote, “We are also assessing whether vaccination against COVID-19 should be mandatory for faculty and staff.” He further added that, “We will continue to consult with public health experts and use the best scientific evidence available in the weeks ahead as we make this decision. Similar to the policy for students, if Boston University decides to make the vaccine mandatory for faculty and staff, medical and religious exemptions will be granted, and reasonable accommodations will be provided under applicable law.”
Furthermore, Jean Morrison, BU provost and chief academic officer, stated that, the university is coordinating with other universities in USA to ensure that international students get visas and return to study in Boston. She further said that they continue to work with the state and federal representatives until the issue related to visas is resolved.
The university has stated that, although vaccines have been shown to be highly successful, the pandemic situation still remains unsatisfactory, which is why students would be expected to wear masks and adhere to other Covid-19 protection measures, especially in classrooms.. “We also will continue testing in the community to monitor any resurgence of the virus and continue the contact tracing that has proven so effective this year.” Brown wrote in the letter. On the other hand, students that are asymptomatic and have been vaccinated, would not be required to be quarantined according to CDC guidelines.