SPS Extracurricular Student Vaccination

On August 30, 2021, Somerville School Committee passed two policies (GBGA and JLCB-B) to better protect the health and safety of all staff, students, and the community. Per Somerville School Committee Policy JLCB-B, all students ages 12 and older participating in athletics, intramurals, or other non-academic extracurricular activities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 20, 2021, unless they apply for and receive either a medical exemption or a religious exemption. This vaccination policy applies to all eligible students who are currently participating or planning to participate in non-academic extracurricular activities, including non-academic clubs or sports seasons that start later in the school year.

Eligible students must be fully vaccinated by October 20, 2021. According to the CDC, people are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second shot in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-shot vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.  The schedule below provides the last day a person can be vaccinated based on the currently available vaccines in order to be fully vaccinated on October 20, 2021:

  Dose 1 Dose 2
Fully vaccinated
coverage
Pfizer* 9/15/21 10/6/21 10/20/21
Moderna 9/8/21 10/6/21 10/20/21
Janssen (J&J) 10/6/21 N/A 10/20/21

* The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for people ages 12-17.

 

Why Do I Need  to Get Vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free! After you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did prior to the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick even after you have had COVID-19. Vaccination is an important safety measure to help us get back to normal. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html 

 

What Extracurricular Activities Does this Apply To?

Full Vaccination Required
(Monitored)
Full Vaccination Strongly Recommended
(Not Monitored)
  • Athletics, including club and intramurals 
  • School clubs that meet outside of the school day
  • Visual and performing arts
  • School sponsored social events 
  • Student government
  • SFLC playgroups
  • Out of school time programs with an academic focus
  • Breakthrough Greater Boston
  • Community Schools
  • Citizen Schools
  • El Sistema
  • Enroot

 

How Will My Vaccine Status Be Verified?

The COVID-19 vaccine status of students in athletics, intramurals, or other non-academic extracurricular will be verified by school health staff through the Massachusetts Immunization Information System, as is done currently with other immunizations.

 

What if I Want to Seek a Medical or Religious Exemption?

All eligible students must have documented vaccination status or apply for a medical/religious exemption. Exemptions are not guaranteed. The district has a form that students can use to apply for an exemption. Please contact Student Services if you believe you qualify for an exemption by emailing Liz Doncaster at edoncaster@k12.somerville.ma.us.

 

Once I’m Fully Vaccinated, Do I Still Need to Participate in Weekly COVID Testing?

Yes. All students in athletics, intramurals, and other non-academic extracurricular activities who wish to continue participating in those activities must participate in the district’s weekly COVID testing at their school, unless they have applied for and received a medical exemption.

 

What Are the Consequences of Non-Compliance?

The District will oversee compliance with the extracurricular vaccine mandate.  This mandate is intended to protect the health and safety of students, staff and the community.

Eligible students who have made good faith attempts to become fully vaccinated by receiving at least 1 dose of vaccine but who have not reached full vaccination status by October 20, may continue to practice and play, provided they complete the respective vaccination regime within the dose timelines for Moderna or Pfizer.  Athletes who have yet to become fully vaccinated by October 20, who have not received an exemption, or who do not complete the vaccine regimen at the specific interval for their respective vaccine brand will not be allowed to play or practice after October 20th. 

 

What If I’m Going to Turn 12 Years Old Later This Year?

Students younger than age 12 are currently not eligible for the vaccine. Students who will turn 12 and become vaccine-eligible during the sports/extracurricular season in question must be vaccinated within six weeks of their 12th birthday.

 

Where Can I Get A COVID-19 Vaccine?

You do not need an appointment, but you may choose to pre-register. All minors must bring a permission form signed by a parent or guardian, or be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Permission forms are available here. All sites provide free vaccinations, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Walk-in vaccination is available at the locations below.

Somerville CHA Vaccine Center
176 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA
Mon, Tues: 11:00 am - 6:30 pm
Wed, Thur, Fri: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Optional pre-registration

School Based Clinics
The District and Health Department are holding regular school based clinics which will be posted at www.somervillema.gov/covidvaccine and communicated via email and social media.

Local Pharmacies
Walk-in appointments available as supply allows. Pre-registration is recommended. Check with your local pharmacy for pharmacy hours.

Check with your primary care provider. CHA and Mass General Brigham have vaccine sites in Somerville. CHA patients should call the CHA vaccine hotline at  (617) 665-1995 or sign up on MyChart for an appointment.  Mass General Brigham patients can sign up on the Patient Gateway.

Search for vaccination sites anywhere in MA at vaxfinder.mass.gov or call 211

Sign up for City of Somerville vaccine alerts to get the latest local information and learn when mobile vaccine clinics are coming to your neighborhood

 

Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get a booster shot?

Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

 

What If I Have Other Questions?

​​Parents and guardians or eligible students who have additional questions about any aspect of this policy should email the Athletic Director Stan Vieira at svieira@k12.somerville.ma.us (for athletics or intramural programs) or Student Services Director Liz Doncaster at edoncaster@k12.somerville.ma.us (for other non-academic extracurricular programs).