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All registered students who will have a continued presence on campus must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations requiring proof of immunization against certain communicable diseases within 14 days of registering. Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization requirements are strict and may differ significantly from other states and countries.

A continued presence on campus is defined as any student who will be on campus (either commuting to or in residence) for a full 2-week, 3-week, 4-week, or 7-week session, or Writer’s Residency course (CREA S-490) at Harvard Summer School.

Students living in Summer School housing are also required to meet the immunization regulations.

This requirement does NOT apply if you are registered in an online course AND will not be living in Summer School housing.

Required Immunizations

You must submit proof of vaccination (or medical or religious exemption documentation) to University Health Services (UHS) if you will have any on-campus presence.

The immunizations that must be certified for participation in on-campus Harvard Summer School courses or programs include:

  • Measles (Rubeola): Two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart.
  • Rubella (German measles): Two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart.
  • Mumps: Two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart.
  • Varicella (chickenpox): A history of varicella disease certified by physician or two varicella immunizations at least one month* apart, on March 1, 1995, or later.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis: One dose of “Tdap” every 10 years; only acceptable vaccines are Adacel, Boostrix, or adult acellularpertussis booster. Vaccinations older than 10 years will not be accepted.
  • Hepatitis B: Three immunizations. The first and second dose must be at least 1 month* apart. Third dose must be done at least 2 months* after second dose and should be 4 months* after first dose.
  • Meningococcal: Harvard requires this immunization for all students who are between the ages of 16 and 21. ACWY vaccine ONLY. Meningococcal B vaccines will NOT be accepted in lieu of ACWY. Those 22 and older do not need this immunization.

*One month is equal to 28 days

Documentation of a blood test proving immunity to measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, and/or varicella (chickenpox) is acceptable in lieu of immunizations. If you do not need to be immunized against hepatitis B because you have had the disease or have a chronic carrier form of it, you must provide documentation of appropriate laboratory tests, or a letter from your physician.

If you do not need to be immunized against varicella (chickenpox) due to previous infection, you must provide documentation of appropriate laboratory tests, a letter from your physician, OR you may fill out the age or date of infection for varicella on the HUHS Immunization form. Your physician must still sign the form indicating that the information provided is true.

If you were born in the United States before 1980, you may waive the requirement for proof of immunity to varicella (chickenpox).

Submitting Your Documentation

To upload your immunization documentation, you must have your Harvard University Identification number (HUID) and you will need to claim your HarvardKey. You will claim your HarvardKey at If you do not know your HUID, you will find it at the top right corner of your MyDCE homepage. New Students: Note that HUIDs are only assigned 2 days after you are registered for courses.

If you have your HUID, have claimed your HarvardKey and you encounter problems accessing the Patient Portal, there may be a delay in your information transferring to the Portal. It may take up to three business days after you’ve claimed your HarvardKey for the Patient Portal to be accessible to you.  If it has been more than 3 business days and you encounter problems accessing the Patient Portal Please contact HUIT (Harvard University Information Technology) (617) 495-7777.

Instructions for uploading immunization documentation

  1. Visit the HUHS Patient Portal website
  2. Click on the button that says “Log into the HUHS Patient Portal”
  3. Click Log in with your HarvardKey.
  4. On the left-hand side of the window, click on Medical Clearances.
  5. Items Required for Clearance will appear on the right.
  6. Click on the green Update button for each required immunization.
  7. For each required immunization, enter the date of the vaccination. Enter dates using MM/DD/YYYY format.
  8. For each required immunization, upload the supporting immunization documentation.
  9. Click Done.
  10. If the upload does not work, your file may be too large. It is suggested that you try to upload in multiple, separate batches.

More information about university immunization requirements and the process of uploading documents to the Patient Portal can be found with University Health Services

Confirmation of Compliance

You will know that you’ve complied with the requirement when you see your status for each immunization requirement in your Patient Portal updated with a green marking indicating “compliant.”

The review by UHS is not instantaneous and may take several business days from the time you uploaded your document. If you see a red mark indicating “not compliant,” your immediate attention is required to resolve your status and to ensure your compliance prior to the start of the term. Note that UHS review time will not affect your registration. Students do not need to be compliant within 14 days of registering, they must only submit.

Requests for Exemption

The only circumstances that may exempt you from these regulations are as follows:

  • Providing written certification from your physician that your health would be endangered by one or more of the immunizations (in which case, you will be required to submit laboratory evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella [chickenpox], and hepatitis B as an alternative to proof of immunization).


  • Providing a signed statement that the required immunizations conflict with your religious beliefs. (In this case, it is recommended that you present evidence of immunity as described above.)

In either case, if there is an outbreak on campus of any of the above named diseases for which you have not submitted acceptable documentation, you will be administratively withdrawn from classes.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

You are required to submit documentation within 14 days of registering for any course with any on-campus presence.

You risk being dropped from your on-campus courses, even after classes begin, if you do not upload your documentation in an expedited manner or if your status is noncompliant.

You are responsible for any expenses that you incur if you fail to comply with the University’s immunization policy and are dropped from class.

IMPORTANT: If you register in the final days of registration, it is your responsibility to upload immunization documentation in an expedient manner according to the directions above. You run the risk of being dropped after courses begin for non-compliance.

Email reminders

The Harvard Summer School will send frequent email reminders regarding this policy to those students registered in on-campus courses. Please be on the lookout for our emails and check your SPAM folders for our communications. It is your responsibility to comply with this policy, as outlined under Expectations.

Who to Contact

General questions regarding the requirement or email reminders:

Specific questions regarding document and compliance status: or (617) 495-2055. Please be sure to have your full name and/or HUID ready for UHS to look up your records and properly assist you.

Note: cannot answer inquiries regarding your specific documentation or compliance status. All documentation uploaded to Patient Portal is specifically reviewed by UHS staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request a medical or religious exemption?

Requests for medical or religious exemptions for other immunizations are reviewed by University Health Services staff . Please fill out the Student Vaccine Exemption form and upload to the HUHS Patient Portal directly.

If you are submitting a medical exemption, you will need certification by an examining physician that you are not medically eligible for the selected vaccination along with your exemption form.

Instructions for uploading exemptions:

  1. Go to:
  2. Click on the black button that says “Log into the HUHS Patient Portal”.
  3. Click Log in with your Harvard Key.
  4. On the left-hand side of the window, scroll down and select downloadable forms.
  5. Click on the green Upload button on the right-hand side of the screen.
  6. Upload the form and any additional supporting documentation.

In either case, if there is an outbreak on campus of any of the above named diseases for which you have not submitted acceptable documentation, you will be administratively withdrawn from classes.

Is COVID required?

Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will no longer require students receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

We strongly recommend that all members of the Harvard community stay up-to-date on COVID vaccines, including boosters if eligible. Additionally, we continue to emphasize the benefits of wearing a high-quality face mask in crowded indoor settings and remaining at home if unwell.

HUHS considers state and federal guidance, along with advice from the University’s public health experts, in responding to COVID-19. HUHS continue to monitor public health data and will periodically review requirements.

Can I waive Meningococcal?

Students between the ages of 16 and 21 must receive the Meningococcal vaccine. Students who are 22 and older are exempt of this requirement. Students turning 22 before June 6 are also exempt.

Unless there is a religious reason, or if receiving a Meningococcal dose is a danger to your health, your compliancy status will remain as not compliant until you meet the requirement and you will run the risk of being dropped from your on-campus courses and housing.

If there is a separate reason not disclaimed on the exemption form, students may provide the Meningococcal waiver stating that the student has received information about the dangers of the Meningococcal disease, reviewed the information provided and elected to decline the vaccine. Students under the age of 18 will require a parent/guardian signature on said waiver.

Further questions regarding this requirement may be directed to UHS staff at or (617) 495-2055.

I received Meningococcal before I was 16. Do I need to get it again?

The Massachusetts Department of Health requires all students who are between the ages of 16 and 21 to receive a dose of the quadrivalent Meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

If you have received the immunization before you were 16 years old, you will need to receive another Meningococcal vaccination. Otherwise, you will be marked as not compliant.

Further questions regarding your Meningococcal compliance must be directed to UHS staff at or (617) 495-2055.

I can’t edit the vaccination dates in the Patient Portal, what do I do?

The Patient Portal does not allow students to edit the dates they have already submitted. You may reupload your documents and University Health Services will correct the dates on your behalf.

How long does it take for documents to be reviewed?

It can take up to 10-15 business days for UHS staff to review documentation. Documents are being reviewed in the order in which they are received by UHS staff for students, faculty, and staff from across the University, not just Harvard Summer School.

We encourage you to submit as soon as possible after registering and please be patient while you wait for your documents to be reviewed. Please be assured that your registration status will not be impacted while your documents are under review.

I just began the MMR, Hep B, and/or Varicella vaccination series. I won’t complete the series before classes begin. Will this affect my registration?

We understand that students who are just now beginning certain immunization series‘ will not have time to complete them before classes begin.

As long as you have taken all the immunizations that are possible within the specified time frame/schedule stated on the UHS Immunization Form, your immunization status will be sufficient for the semester you are registered for. Note that you will be expected to be fully immunized by the time you begin a new semester.

I have alternate medical documentation from my doctor. Can I submit that instead of the immunization form?

UHS does accept alternate immunization documentation if it is certified by a health-care provider or medical records official and is in English. Your alternate documentation must still demonstrate compliance with the Massachusetts and Harvard University immunizations regulations.

If you cannot provide documentation of each required immunization, there are several diseases for which you can have a blood titer that will evidence whether or not you have immunity to them (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella). You need to provide University Health Services with the proof of these blood titers by uploading them through the UHS Patient Portal. For the diseases that do not allow blood titers (Meningococcal, Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis), you must receive the vaccinations again and provide the proof.

I’m a returning Harvard Summer School student. Do I need to submit documentation again?

Returning Harvard Summer School students will need to double check their medical clearances in Patient Portal once they are registered for summer courses. Your registration will determine what immunization requirements and/or consent forms are required of you.

UHS cannot predict your immunization requirements until you are registered for courses.

If there are any medical clearances marked as not compliant, you will only need to meet the outstanding immunization(s). If you are fully compliant, you do not need to repeat any immunizations for this summer.