Harvard requires the new bivalent COVID-19 booster for on-campus study

Photo courtesy of MGN

10/21/22 By Ashlyn Wang

Harvard University announced Monday that students will be required to receive the new bivalent COVID-19 booster for on-campus study starting in January 2023, being the first college requiring the updated booster in the Boston area.

“Harvard requires all students to be ‘up-to-date’ on their COVID vaccination,” the school’s website said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bivalent COVID-19 booster was available beginning Sept. 2. The new “omicron-specific” booster targets the original strain of the virus and the omicron variants, according to the CDC. 

Before enrolling in the spring term, Harvard requires students to meet all vaccination requirements, including the updated booster. Faculty, staff and researchers are also highly recommended to get the bivalent COVID booster, according to Harvard’s website.

Students can get the new bivalent booster two months after the most recent COVID vaccination, said Harvard University Health Services. The services provide the updated booster through appointment only. Students can schedule appointments on the Harvard Patient Portal and receive the booster at clinics. Students who choose to receive their boosters outside the campus will be expected to update their immunization records via the portal.

“Harvard will continue to monitor for primary series compliance,” said Harvard’s website.