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Starting January 2023, Harvard University is requiring all on-campus students to be vaccinated with the bivalent COVID-19 booster. 

In September statement, Harvard warned that

“[s]tudents must be compliant with all vaccine requirements in order to register for the spring term. This includes the annual flu shot as well as the bivalent Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster.”

In an October update to the university’s COVID-19 plan, the same policy was reiterated, this time with an instructional YouTube video featuring Suzanne Spreadbury, Dean of Academic Programs.

“Because I care about your health,” Spreadbury begins, holding her hands to her heart, “I want to walk you through the process for uploading your COVID-19 vaccination documentation if you plan to be on campus this upcoming semester.”

She continues,

“If you’re coming to campus, we are so excited to see you…Here is what you need to do within seven days of registering for a course with an on-campus presence. I know it’s fast, but you can do it.”

Once uploaded documentation is reviewed by a health services professional, it will be marked “as green, compliant, or red, not compliant,” Spreadbury emphasizes.

According to the CDC, the new booster is called “bivalent” because it “protect[s] against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.”

“Previous boosters are called ‘monovalent’ because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters,” it continues.

Harvard isn’t the only university imposing strict vaccine mandates on their students.

Campus Reform began reporting on which universities were mandating booster shots in late 2021, and has continued to follow school policies on the issue of vaccinations since.

This September, for example, Campus Reform reported on Susquehanna University’s double-standard for student and employee vaccination: While returning students were mandated to take the vaccine, it was only “strongly encouraged” for employees.

Campus Reform reached out to the Harvard University Health Services, Harvard’s media relations department, and Suzanne Spreadbury for comment. The article will update accordingly.


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Ava Sherwood Erculiani is a sophomore studying Biology and Political Science at Slippery Rock University. Where she is a student Senator as well as the president and founder of the American Conservation Coalition at Slippery Rock, a conservative environmentalist group.

Featured image is from Campus Reform