Boston University President Robert Brown said today that optimism that all Boston University employees would get vaccinated against the virus proved unwarranted, so the school is now requiring that everybody who gets a BU paycheck either show proof of vaccination by Sept. 2 - or really good proof why they should be exempted for medical or religious reasons.
In e-mail to employees, Brown said he's not messing around:
The consequences for those failing to get vaccinated and who do not receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons may include additional public health measures not required for vaccinated people and, in some cases, being placed on a leave of absence until the individual is either vaccinated or the risk of infection from COVID-19 is deemed to have ended.
He noted that all students are being required to show proof of immunization and that he had hoped to avoid a mandate for BU faculty and other employees, figuring they might realize the importance of vaccinations and get shots on their own, but:
On May 28th we asked all faculty and staff to disclose their vaccination status and plan. To date, 72.1% of faculty and 76.4% of staff and affiliates have completed the survey or provided proof of vaccination. From this survey and from the uploaded vaccination information we know that only 71.3% of faculty and 73.6% of staff are currently or will be vaccinated by August 1.
These totals are significantly below what we need to safely return our campuses to near-normal operation in the fall. Accordingly, we are now requiring that all University employees and affiliates be vaccinated by September 2, 2021.
Brown wrote that the school will run vaccination clinics on its Charles River campus and that both BU-affiliated Boston Medical Center and its own medical school offer shots - and that the state has a Web site on which to find a place to get the shot.