NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Smith College announced Wednesday that all undergraduate and graduate students returning for the fall 2021 semester will need to have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
President Kathleen McCartney alerted staff and students of the new protocols through an email on Wednesday. McCartney said students that request for medical or religious exemption would be reviewed individually.
“Since March of last year, members of the Smith community have acted to protect each other and minimize the spread of COVID-19, and continue the teaching and learning that is at the core of our mission,” McCartney said. “While this past year has been stressful, it has also proven how undaunted we are in the face of challenges, and how resilient we can be.”
Smith College has also received some Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for students enlisted in the school’s screening program, which will be available later this month. The college hopes to receive more vaccines in the future so they can vaccinate more students on campus.
Housing will be at full capacity and classes will be taught in-person – but for this to happen – all graduate and undergraduate students must be fully vaccinated.
“This is actually a standard process that we have. the state requires a range of vaccines and so students are use to this process where the beginning of the year they upload their immunization records to our electronic process system so this won’t be a new process for them,” said Kris Evans, health and wellness director at Smith College.
The college also said it will help international students get a U.S.-approved vaccine. There are some exemptions, for example, medical or religious reasons, but those will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. On-campus vaccine clinics will take place later this month.
On April 9, Smith College announced they will be returning to in-person classes on September 2. All students will be able to live on campus as well.
Smith joins a handful of other universities to require vaccinations: that includes Northeastern, Boston University, Brown, and Roger William’s.