Dear Wheaton Community,
Throughout the pandemic, we have carefully considered state and federal public health guidance to keep our campus healthy. Your attention and care in following those measures has enabled our community to manage a safe return to a more in-person experience this fall.
Current CDC guidance recommends a booster shot for individuals 18 years of age or older to enhance protection against COVID-19, particularly the new Omicron variant. In discussions with experts here in Massachusetts and with other academic institutions, there is even more support for the need for eligible individuals to get a booster shot.
Based on these discussions and the official CDC guidance, Wheaton College is updating its COVID-19 Vaccination Policy to require all eligible students, faculty, staff, and volunteers to receive COVID-19 booster shoots. Effective February 1, all vaccinated students, staff, faculty, and volunteers will be required to receive a booster shot within 30 days of becoming eligible. Individuals who received an exemption from the vaccination requirement will maintain that exemption. Final information regarding how to submit vaccination documentation will be forthcoming in January 2022.
To assist in providing boosters to the community, we have a clinic scheduled for later this week, Thursday, December 16. The first 180 spots were booked quickly, and we have worked with our partner to extend the clinic hours and open up 135 more appointments. Learn more about the vaccination clinic and visit the scheduling site to register for the limited spots remaining.
We also plan to host a clinic at the beginning of the spring semester for community members who are not yet eligible or were unable to meet the requirement over winter break. More details on the exact date, in addition to more details on the return to campus protocols for the spring semester, will be communicated in early January. Boosters are also widely available at most pharmacies in Massachusetts. To find a vaccine provider locally, you can visit the Massachusetts vax finder website.
The health and safety of our community remains our top priority. Your active assistance in following our protocols—vaccination, testing, masking indoors and where social distancing is not possible—has been essential to our collective wellbeing as a campus, and I appreciate your continued care in following these measures.
Wishing you a relaxing and healthy holiday break,