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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Harvard University To Require COVID-19 Vaccination And Move To Distance Learning In January

Harvard University announced that it will require booster shots and will mostly move to distance learning in the first three weeks of January 2022, citing the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

“For the spring semester, Harvard will require COVID-19 boosters for all eligible members of our community, including students, faculty, staff, and researchers (those with an approved exemption will not need to provide additional information),” university administrators said affiliates of Harvard on December 16.

Lawrence Beckow, president of the university, said in a message along with other senior executives that if people are unable to receive a booster before they return to campus, “additional opportunities will be available” and that they “will not be barred from entering the campus. … “

Administrators said they will provide additional information on booster vaccine requirements in early January.

Harvard is also moving much of its training and work to remote options during the first three weeks of January 2022, administrators told affiliates on December 18.

“Please know that we are not taking this step lightly,” the announcement says. “This is due to the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases locally and nationwide, as well as the growing presence of the highly tolerated variant of Omicron.”

“This is backed up by guidance from public health experts who have consulted the university throughout the pandemic,” they added. “As always, we make this decision with the health and safety of our community as our top priority.”

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Some activities will continue in person, such as laboratory work or patient-centered clinical activities. Students who can be on campus for a three-week period must have permission from their school. Faculty, staff and researchers should work remotely, “if possible.”

Omicron’s COVID-19 variant is expected to become the dominant variant in the United States and “potentially” peak in the first few weeks of January, administrators wrote. “We plan to return to more active on-campus activities in late January, public health conditions permitting,” they added.

Spring semester classes at the university are scheduled to begin on January 24th, after three weeks.

On December 18, Harvard acknowledged that the Omicron variant is “already present” on campus.

According to the university’s dashboard, 344 people have tested positive for the virus in the past seven days.

The vaccination rate at the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, as of mid-November 2021, is 97 percent among employees and 97 percent among students.

To follow

Mimi Nguyen Lee is a distribution editor and world news reporter based in Australia. Has experience in optometry. Contact her at [email protected]

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