Student vaccine and booster protocol

Since fall 2021, the Maine Community College System has required all students attending classes in person to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In December 2021, the protocol was updated to require that all students attending classes in person get a booster shot no later than one month after becoming eligible.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of outbreaks on our campuses.

This protocol will be in effect for the duration of the 2021-22 academic year.  Here are details on the student vaccine and booster protocol:

Who is required to get a vaccine?

Any student or trainee accessing MCCS facilities, including off-site education centers and locations. 

When do students need to get a vaccine?

Students must provide proof they received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to attending their first in-person class.  Students who require a second dose of a vaccine must provide proof of the second dose no later than 30 days from the date of their first in-person class. 

Which vaccines are accepted?

Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are accepted. International students may also provide proof of vaccination with a vaccine approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing

Does the protocol apply to students studying remotely?

No. Students who are fully remote and will not be entering campus buildings for any purpose will not need proof of vaccination. Approximately 45 percent of courses are being delivered remotely this fall.

Does the protocol apply to students studying at off-campus centers?

Yes. The protocol does apply to students studying at off-campus centers. It also applies to situations where the instructor and the students or trainees are all from MCCS, such as an MCCS night class offered at a high school.

It does not apply when MCCS instructors are providing training at a business for its employees, or at a CTE center or high school for high school students.

Do students need booster shots?

Yes. Any student or trainee accessing MCCS facilities, including off-site education centers and locations, must provide proof of booster shots no later than one month after becoming eligible for a booster. Under CDC guidelines, a person is eligible to get a booster shot six months after the last shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months after the J&J vaccine.

Request for Exemption or Accommodation

Students may request an exemption from the vaccination protocol. Students seeking a medical exemption should contact their college for more information and for a medical exemption form.

Approval of exemption is not guaranteed.  MCCS will be following CDC guidelines in reviewing requests for exemptions, and any request for exemption will be reviewed each semester.

Any student granted an exemption will be required to take weekly COVID tests and provide the test results to a designated college official.

MCCS will not consider exemptions based on religious or philosophical beliefs.

What happens if a student does not submit proof of vaccinations in time?

Students who do not provide proof of vaccination by the designated deadlines will not be permitted to attend in-person classes.

Does the masking protocol remain in place?

Yes. Masks are currently required indoors at all MCCS facilities.

Will the daily health screening on campus continue?

Yes. MCCS colleges are continuing to use a daily health screening app for all people at MCCS facilities.

How will colleges manage the vaccine verification process?

Colleges are already tracking the vaccination status of students. Colleges will use the same system currently used to verify other vaccination requirements.