Covid Vaccination & FAQs

Vaccination Announcement

Updated 8/11/21

As you prepare to make your way to us, we want to share some recent decisions regarding vaccination and NEC’s current safety measures to support our return to a full and safe in-person experience.  

Whilst we know the impact of COVID remains very real for us all, individually and collectively, we are grateful for the resilience, creativity, and optimism so evident in our NEC community. Even with extensive health and safety protocols, we were able to keep in-person music-making happening at NEC this past year only because of the consistent commitment each member of NEC community demonstrated to keeping safe our community—and, indeed, the broader communities in which we live.    

As we look forward to a full return to campus in the fall, we know that ensuring public health will require ongoing vigilance, as certainly we will be living with COVID-19 and its variants for the foreseeable future. To that end, NEC will require all students (12 years of age or older) to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As with every vaccination requirement, exemptions will be approved for medical or religious reasons.  Students will be required to submit documentation verifying vaccination to the confidential student health portal. 

We recognize that International students may receive COVID-19 vaccines that have not been approved for use by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) or The Who (World Health Organization). We expect that vaccines with efficacy similar to US-based vaccines will be accepted by NEC, unless federal or state guidelines mandate otherwise. International students with questions should please contact the Health Center or Office of Student Services.    

A list of FAQs and updated safety protocols will be maintained on this page as detailed below, and as always, staff in the Health Center and Office of Student Services, are available to assist with any questions or concerns, and you can find our staff directory here.  

Vaccination FAQs

What Types of COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the U.S.? 

There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 12 years of age and older.  The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are currently in use, were granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in December of 2020.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine) joined their ranks on February 27, 2021 becoming the third vaccine approved for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).   

Click on the links below to learn more about each vaccine: 

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine 

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine 

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine 

Will the NEC Health & Counseling Center (NEC HCC) provide COVID-19 vaccines on campus for Students, Faculty and Staff? 

 The NEC Health Center is not offering the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The Emergency Response Team is considering the best options for making vaccines available to students, faculty, and staff and will send out updates as the information becomes available.   

We encourage everyone to pursue vaccination at a community vaccination site or through their primary care provider. Currently, the best way to find information about how to schedule your vaccine is through the state's COVID-19 vaccine finder:

Will NEC require COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty, and staff? 

The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all students, faculty, and staff. 

Will I still need to participate in NEC’s COVID-19 Testing Program after I am fully vaccinated? 

NEC's COVID-19 testing protocols are continuously evaluated and take into account what we know about vaccine efficacy, the potential for variants to affect unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, and higher risk sub groups. Please refer to the Summer Testing Protocols here. 

How should I share my COVID-19 vaccination status with the Health Center? 

Documentation of COVID-19 vaccination (or any required vaccinations listed in the Student Health Report) should be uploaded to NEC’s Student Health Portal (go to "document upload", then "immunization record").  Learn more about how to register for the portal. 

Students will also be assigned a Consent for Release of Student COVID-19 Vaccination Record form in the Student Health Portal, which will authorize Health and Counseling Center staff to share records confirming COVID-19 vaccination status with relevant NEC staff, as needed, for COVID-19 related planning and protocols with regard to on-campus activities. 

Please note, if you are under 18 years of age, you will be required to print the form, have it signed by your parent or legal guardian, and upload a copy to the confidential Student Health Portal

Faculty and Staff: information will be forthcoming re: sharing of vaccination records.

Will travel, self-quarantine, or testing requirements change when I travel to Massachusetts from another state after I have been vaccinated? 

At this time, vaccinated individuals must continue to comply with the Massachusetts travel order and related testing and quarantine requirements. Due to the rapidly evolving changes in guidance, please refer to

Individuals who are fully vaccinated with an FDA EUA (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen) approved vaccine or a WHO EUL (AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm/BIBP, Sinovac*) approved vaccine do not need to quarantine when entering Massachusetts or the United States. International travelers are still required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before traveling and 3-5 days after arrival in Boston or the United States.

*This list is subject to change.

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide for real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, including quarantining after a possible exposure if not fully vaccinated, covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least six feet away from others. 

Why is NEC mandating COVID-19 vaccination for students studying in person in Fall 2021? 

Yes, we are requiring COVID-19 vaccination for students studying in-person in the Fall of 2021. NEC has the opportunity for the community to approach herd immunity thresholds (HIT), and decrease infection rates and serious complications associated with COVID-19.  Furthermore, this requirement reduces the risk of onsite cases, which could significantly impact the daily operations of the Conservatory.  

What are some of the potential benefits of requiring student vaccination? 

There are many benefits to requiring COVID-19 vaccination at NEC, especially in a community focused on musical education and due to public health guidance indicating the role of aerosols in viral transmission. 

A COVID-19 vaccination requirement is expected to allow NEC to return to an environment that includes more in-person collaboration.   

Are there any exceptions to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination? 

Students may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for medical or religious reason.  A health care provider must verify medical exemptions. 

Students requesting a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination must complete a vaccine exemption form and submit it electronically through the NEC Student Health Portal. NEC will notify you whether your request has been approved. NEC expects any such requests to be submitted on or before July 30, 2021.

What is the deadline for submitting documentation confirming that I have received the COVID-19 vaccine? 

The deadline for submitting documentation confirming you have received the COVID-19 vaccine has been extended to July 30, 2021.   

What documentation should I submit to confirm that I have received the COVID-19 vaccine? 

Satisfactory proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including the date(s) of vaccination, and the name of the vaccine administered (ex. Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen) must be uploaded to the NEC Student Health Portal by July 30, 2021. Students may satisfy the requirement to upload documentation of the COVID-19 vaccine in two ways: 

  1. Through documentation verified by a healthcare provider and documented in your student health report, including the date(s) of vaccination, and the name of the vaccine administered (ex. Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen) .   
  2. A scanned copy of a government issued vaccination card with your name, the name of the vaccine, and date(s) of administration. 

What type of COVID-19 vaccinations are approved for use in the United States? 

There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S to prevent COVID-19: 

  • The Pfizer BioN Tech   

  • Moderna 

  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)   

The Pfizer BioN Tech and Moderna vaccines require two immunizations to complete the series. Students who receive these vaccines will not be considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks following their second vaccine. Documentation must show that both vaccines have been administered. 

Will I need to be re-vaccinated if I have received a vaccine that has not been approved for use in the United States?  

For international students, NEC is accepting all COVID-19 vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization through the FDA (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen) and World Health Organization (WHO) - AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm/BIBP, Sinovac* (*list is subject to change).  Based on CDC guidance, students who received an unapproved vaccine will need to be revaccinated with a vaccine approved in the United States or listed for emergency use by the WHO as soon as possible.

You can schedule your vaccine through the following website:

Students who fail to submit this documentation, unless exemption has been approved or there is a valid reason that it is not possible to receive the vaccine (e.g. a student living in a country where there is not access to a vaccine prior to the Fall 2021 semester), may be prohibited from attending in-person courses and denied access to the Residence Hall and other NEC facilities, including classrooms and performance spaces. If you have questions regarding this requirement, please be in touch with us at 617-585-1284 or

*Please keep in mind that if you are not FULLY vaccinated (2 weeks past the 2nd dose of an approved vaccine), you must quarantine for 7 days (off campus) upon arrival in the US (with the exception of getting COVID tests and vaccination), per CDC Guidelines.

Can students who do not receive the COVID-19 vaccine enroll in courses on campus or live in the Residence Hall? 

NEC expects all students to submit documentation confirming they have received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the Fall 2021 semester. Students who fail to submit this documentation absent an approved exemption or proof of good cause why they could not receive the vaccine (e.g. a student living in a country where there is not access to a vaccine prior to the Fall 2021 semester) may be prohibited from enrolling in in-person courses and prohibited from access to the Residence Hall and other NEC facilities, including classrooms and performance spaces. NEC cannot guarantee any courses will be offered virtually during the Fall 2021 semester or that remote learning will be offered after the Fall 2021 semester.