College with 96% vaccination rate mandates booster shots

Emerson College is requiring its students to get booster shots before next semester.

Students will also have to take COVID tests during the first week of classes.

Emerson College will require all students, faculty, staff, and vendors to get a Covid-19 vaccine booster prior to returning to campus for the Spring 2022 semester. 

The new policy means that vaccinated students at the Boston school who received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than six months ago will no longer be in compliance with the college’s vaccination requirements.

Faculty or staff who have received a medical or religious exemption for the fall semester will need to request another exemption if they do not receive the booster. 

[RELATED: Has the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ changed? These universities are already imposing booster mandates.]

Despite 96% of the Emerson student population being fully vaccinated, COVID-19 restrictions are expected to become even stricter. Upon returning from winter break, Emerson will be requiring all students to be tested for Covid twice a week, at least three days apart, for the first seven days after returning. All testing is to be completed at one campus facility.

Associate Vice President for Campus Life Erik Muurisepp, who also serves as Emerson’s “COVID Lead,” according to The Berkeley Beacon, has stated that those policies come in response to the new Omicron variant. 

Despite the growing alarms, the Omicron variant has been reported to be less severe and less deadly than the other variants. However, patients who contract the disease have not reported anything more severe than mild symptoms. 

Some Emerson students are now criticizing the college for their medical tyranny. Davis McKinney, a Visual Media Arts student at Emerson, expressed concerns about the college’s new Covid policy to Campus Reform

[RELATED: U. Illinois implements ‘Pass COVID/No Pass COVID’ grading scale to ‘help ease the stress’]

“Emerson’s booster mandates further limit the rights of students to have medical privacy,” McKinney said. “It also makes it difficult for those who have changed their minds on the vaccine and don’t want any more shots in their bodies.” 

Emerson College is not the only higher education institution to require boosters for all students. University of Notre Dame, Syracuse University, Boston College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Smith College have also announced similar policies. 

Campus Reform reached out to Emerson College for comment. Erik Muurisepp could not be reached for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.