Student Vaccination Requirement

All Holy Cross students, except for those who have asked for and been granted an exemption, must be vaccinated and boosted.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vaccines at Holy Cross

Are students required to be vaccinated?

All Holy Cross students, except for those who have asked for and been granted an exemption, must be fully vaccinated and boosted before returning to campus in the spring semester. 

When do I need to get my booster shot by?

For those who received Pfizer or Moderna, you must get your booster 5 months after your second dose. Those who received Johnson and Johnson are eligible for their booster 2 months after they received their vaccination. 

Students must upload their booster dose to their Patient Portal before returning to campus for the spring semester.

If you are not yet eligible for your booster dose by these dates, you must plan to upload your booster within 14 days of becoming eligible to receive it. If you do not comply with this mandate you will be suspended from the College.

Why is Holy Cross requiring the vaccine?

The vaccines have proven safe and effective, according to public health experts and agencies around the world, including the CDC, and they are now widely available across the country. 

The College committed to having a fully vaccinated campus population, to ensure safe and healthy operations, and to allow us to continue to provide the best student experience. We continue to commit to this requirement by requiring the booster shot, which has been shown to significantly increase immunity against the Omicron variant.

How do I let the school know I’ve been vaccinated?

1. Log into your patient portal: healthservices.holycross.edu
2. Click on "Immunizations"
3. Click on "Recommended" 
4. Enter the dates you received your COVID vaccine under the vaccine you received. There is a space for Moderna, Pfizer and J&J
5. Back at the top of the page, click on "Upload"
6. In the drop-down list select "immunization history"
7. Upload proof of your vaccination — picture of your vaccine card, or any official document that has your name, date of birth and vaccine information.

How do I let the school know I’ve gotten my booster?

  1. Log into your Patient Portal: healthservices.holycross.edu
  2. Click on “Uploads”
  3. In the drop-down list select “COVID Booster Documentation”
  4. Upload a picture of your vaccine card with booster dose, or any official document that has your name, date of birth and vaccine information. 

Will a vaccine received in another country satisfy the requirement?

We expect that international vaccines that are accepted by federal and state guidelines will satisfy the vaccination requirement. We will make every effort to assist international students with this requirement.  

Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated?

Yes. Faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated and boosted..  More information about this requirement can be found here.

Are there any exemptions from the vaccine mandate? 

There are two criteria under which someone may apply for an exemption to the vaccine mandate. First, students may submit documentation from a valid medical professional requesting the exception on the basis of medical reasons. Second, students may seek an exemption based on the student’s sincere religious beliefs. A student’s philosophical or ethical concerns regarding the vaccine will not meet this requirement. 

Students may apply for a medical or religious exemption for the booster. Should an outbreak of COVID-19 occur, an exempt student will be excluded from class and/or the residence halls for a period of time.

Applicants and employees with disabilities may request necessary reasonable accommodations in connection with the vaccination requirement. More info here.

How do I request an exemption from the vaccine requirement?

Students can apply for a religious or medical exemption using this form.

Applicants and employees with disabilities may request necessary reasonable accommodations in connection with the vaccination requirement. More info here.

How do I sign up for a vaccine?

You can book an appointment online for a vaccine or your booster dose. 

If you need help with this process, you may also contact 2-1-1.

I am an out-of-state or international student. Am I eligible to receive a vaccine in Massachusetts?

Yes. The Department of Health and Human Services has explicitly stated that out-of-state and international students are eligible to receive a vaccine in Massachusetts.

Will I have to pay for the vaccine?

No. The vaccine is being provided free of charge to all individuals by the federal government.   However, the state sites may still ask for insurance information to cover administrative fees, which are billed directly to and paid for by your insurance.

What are the risks of these vaccines?

Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet on FDA.gov that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.

  1. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
  2. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
  3. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers

We recommend that you contact your primary care physician if you have additional questions.

What are the benefits of taking this vaccine?

We refer you to the Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC for a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on what we currently know.

What if I have an underlying medical condition or another health-related concern?

Please contact your primary care physician to discuss whether it is appropriate for you to receive the vaccine.

If I get a vaccine, will I have to continue to take part in the campus’ COVID testing program?

Yes, if you are currently in the testing program or if your time on campus increases to require testing. Current data indicates that it typically takes a few weeks for the body’s immune system to develop protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick, despite having been vaccinated. For this reason, you will continue to take part in the COVID testing program at this time.

Do vaccinated students still have to quarantine if they are found to be a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID?

Students who are fully vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine. Unvaccinated students do have to quarantine if exposed to COVID. If you are fully vaccinated and eligible for the booster, but have not yet received it, you will also need to quarantine. 

Also please note that the booster is required for all students, and you must get it within 14 days of being eligible for your booster. If you do not comply with this mandate, you will be suspended from the College.

Please see the Isolation and Quarantine FAQ for the most up to date information on our policies. 

There may be occasional circumstances where vaccinated students are still required to quarantine. For example, in the event an entire wing, floor or residence hall is put into quarantine following a potential cluster of cases.

What if I have another question?

If you have any personal, health-related questions, please contact your primary care physician. If you have a question regarding our vaccine mandate, please contact coronavirus@holycross.edu.