Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your vaccine-related questions. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Will I be able to receive a COVID vaccination through Emerson or Tufts Medical Center?

The vaccine supply continues to be limited for hospitals. At this time, we are unable to offer vaccines to the Emerson community through Tufts Medical Center. We are continuing to explore the possibility of setting up a vaccination clinic with Tufts at the beginning of the Fall semester, should the supply chain open up.

Members of the community are encouraged to seek out vaccines at one of the state’s mass vaccination sites, at a participating pharmacy or supermarket, or through their personal physicians. Massachusetts has instituted a pre-registration site where residents can sign up to receive appointments at one of the mass vaccination sites once they are eligible. See the state’s COVID-19 vaccination site to find out when you are eligible.

If you are a student who is planning to remain in Massachusetts after May 1, we recommend you pre-register with the state for a vaccine and utilize one of the many sites around the area.

How much does a COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The vaccine is free to you. The COVID-19 vaccination is paid for through your health insurance and the state.

Why do we need a COVID-19 vaccine?

Ending a pandemic requires using all the tools available to us. Vaccines work with your immune system so that your body can fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. The best protection from COVID-19 can be obtained by receiving the COVID-19 vaccination and following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for protection.

After I receive the vaccine, do I need to continue to test, wear a face covering, and maintain social distance?

Yes, you will need to continue to wear a face covering, and practice social distancing and good hand hygiene for the foreseeable future as the vaccine is rolled out in phases in order to protect the entire community. Experts need more time to understand the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change current recommendations on mask use. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

Will the vaccination be required for Emerson community members in order to come to campus?

The College expects that all faculty, staff, and students who are on campus or will commute to campus will be vaccinated when they are eligible and a vaccination supply is available. Just as we have been working together to keep the community healthy this academic year by undergoing regular and frequent COVID testing, students, faculty, and staff should plan to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible in order to safeguard the health of the Emerson community, as well as that of friends, family, and neighbors in Boston and beyond. 

Vaccination is the best tool we have to control the virus, the only safe method available to create herd immunity, and the fastest way to return our campus and our world to something approaching normal. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to help end this pandemic by immunizing as much of our community as possible, so we will encourage everyone who can be vaccinated to do so.

If you get a vaccine, do you need a negative COVID test beforehand?

No. The CDC does not recommend COVID screening tests before getting a COVID vaccine.

What would it take to get the population to “herd immunity” for COVID?

Herd immunity occurs when enough people have protection from a disease that it is unlikely that the disease will continue to spread. Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID. They also do not know how long the vaccine will protect people. Letting COVID spread through communities naturally would lead to unnecessary infections, suffering, and death.

If you have medical questions about the COVID vaccine, its efficacy, side effects, etc, please go to Mass Gov for guidance and information or the CDC Vaccination Guidelines.

I have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Can I still get vaccinated? 

Vaccinations may be administered once a person has recovered from their COVID infection and their 10-day isolation period has been completed.