MIT requires all faculty and staff to be vaccinated to work on campus
MIT anticipates relaxing COVID-19 restrictions following state and city policies
All faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 30 in order to work on campus, according to an update emailed to MIT community members by Vice President for Human Resources Ramona Allen, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88, Provost Martin Schmidt PhD ’88, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Glen Shor, MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis ’90, Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, and Vice President for Research Maria Zuber.
Additionally, certain contractors and others working on campus or accessing MIT facilities must also be vaccinated. For staff represented by a union, MIT’s labor relations team will discuss with union leadership about the requirement.
Exemptions may be granted for medical or religious reasons or for staff who are approved to work remotely full-time.
The email writes that the decision to require the vaccine was based on “understanding of the science behind the vaccines, their established safety and efficacy, and their wide availability across the state and country.”
Additionally, MIT “feels that it is necessary to have this information” to “monitor the level of vaccination in our community and to take measures to mitigate or respond to any outbreaks.”
Beginning June 1, COVID-19 vaccination is required for community members seeking to participate in MIT-sponsored travel, unless the traveler has an approved exemption.
MIT will accept all vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization or final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or that are listed as emergency use from the World Health Organization.
MIT previously announced that all students would be required to receive the vaccine before enrolling in the fall.
According to the email, 21% of MIT community members expected to be on campus in the fall have yet to report their vaccine status, and 91% of members currently accessing campus have reported that they are either partially or fully vaccinated.
Proof of vaccination should be submitted in the Atlas mobile app or at covidvaccine.mit.edu.
The email also included a preview of MIT’s fall policies, writing that as more community members receive the vaccine, MIT “will be in a position to relax many” of its restrictions.
The email wrote that to “gain an early understanding” of community health, MIT will initially require any community member accessing campus buildings to be tested for COVID-19 once a week and that MIT Medical will develop and unobserved, self-administered testing system for the fall to more quickly and easily integrate the testing process.
MIT will “regularly evaluate” whether widespread community testing will be necessary throughout the fall, either stopping or ramping up testing if data indicate that testing is no longer needed or if an uptick in virus prevalence occurs, respectively.
Additionally, individuals on campus who are exempt from the vaccine requirements may be required to comply with additional testing and mask wearing requirements.
MIT plans for faculty and staff to resume in-person work by Sept. 7. The Institute’s Work Succeeding initiative is also determining potential more flexible work options.
A town hall for faculty and staff discussing the transition to work on campus, vaccine requirements, campus access and testing, workspace safety, and the Work Succeeding initiative will take place June 9.
Additionally, MIT expects that the campus will re-open to the MIT community, meaning buildings “will be easier to access than they were during the pandemic” for those in compliance with requirements and capacity limits will be lifted in classrooms, offices, and other campus spaces.
MIT also plans to put in place “systems and measures” to safely allow guests and visitors into residence halls, on admissions tours, and at campus events and to make certain areas of campus open to the public. MIT does not yet know whether additional visiting appointments will remain paused for the fall.
Massachusetts and Cambridge lifted their remaining COVID-19 restrictions May 29 and plan to end the State of Emergency June 15. MIT also anticipates relaxing its remaining policies “in the coming weeks,” such as by allowing fully-vaccinated individuals to not wear face coverings on campus.