Update on MIT vaccination levels and Covid policies

July 12, 2021


  • Approximately 85 percent of students, employees, and affiliates have submitted proof of full vaccination. Fewer than 1 percent have received medical or religious exemptions.
  • All students, employees, and affiliates accessing campus are required to submit proof of full vaccination, or to receive an exemption, by July 30.
  • For fully vaccinated individuals, MIT will ease its indoor face covering requirement and eating restrictions on July 30.
  • MIT travel is now allowed for individuals who have satisfied MIT’s vaccination requirement, with the exception of student travel to nations deemed by the CDC or State Department to have high or very high risk.
  • Visiting scholars and research affiliates will be able to come to campus starting in September; visiting students may apply this fall to join MIT beginning in January 2022.

To the members of the MIT community:

We write to share an update on the vaccination rate among members of our community, remind you of upcoming deadlines to comply with MIT’s vaccination requirement, and outline new and forthcoming changes to MIT’s Covid-19 policies on campus.

Where we are: Vaccination update and reminders

Approximately 85 percent of MIT students, employees, and affiliates have submitted proof of full vaccination, and fewer than 1 percent have received medical or religious exemptions to MIT’s vaccination requirement.

Although these numbers are encouraging, they also signal that some members of our community have yet to satisfy MIT’s vaccination requirement either by uploading proof of full vaccination to covidvaccine.mit.edu or by receiving an exemption. If you are in this group, we urge you to act soon: All students, employees, and affiliates accessing campus are required by July 30 either to submit proof of vaccination or to receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons; employees may also receive an exemption due to an approval to work remotely full-time.

All exemption requests must be filed, along with any required documentation, no later than July 22. Online forms are available for students and faculty and staff to request exemptions.

Most community members who have not submitted proof of full vaccination or received an exemption by July 30 will not be able to access campus buildings after that date, until and unless they satisfy the requirement. For staff represented by a union, MIT’s labor relations team will continue discussions with union leadership about the implications of noncompliance with MIT’s vaccine requirement.

The vaccination requirement also applies to partners, spouses, and family members living in MIT residences or FSILGs who are eligible for vaccination, and to individuals who anticipate wanting or needing access to MIT facilities in Cambridge, including DAPER facilities.

Those who expect not to be fully vaccinated by the July 30 deadline, including those who are abroad and may not be able to receive vaccination until they arrive in the United States, should contact vaccine-requirement@mit.edu as soon as possible for assistance.

What’s new: Current Covid policy changes on campus

  • MIT travel: Most MIT travel is now allowed for individuals who have submitted proof of full vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption. However, students may not engage in MIT travel to nations and territories deemed by the CDC or State Department to have high or very high risk (Level 3 and Level 4 nations and territories). More information is available on MIT Now.
  • Visiting scholars and students: MIT will welcome visiting scholars and research affiliates to campus starting in September; they must meet the same vaccination requirements and Covid policies that apply to MIT faculty, staff, and affiliates. MIT will welcome visiting students to campus beginning in January 2022, with the application period opening this fall; visiting students will be subject to the same vaccination and Covid policy requirements as other MIT students. More information is available here.

What’s ahead: Upcoming Covid policy changes on campus

  • Face coverings: Once we reach our July 30 deadline for community members to satisfy our vaccine requirement, and have complete data, we will drop our face covering requirement for fully vaccinated individuals except in spaces where the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to require them: at MIT Medical, at MIT Medical testing facilities, and on MIT shuttle buses. Any fully vaccinated individuals who prefer to wear a face covering in other settings will be encouraged and welcome to do so. In most cases, individuals with approved medical or religious exemptions will still be required to wear face coverings indoors on campus after July 30.
  • Eating indoors: For fully vaccinated individuals, we will relax our current restrictions on social distancing while eating indoors in conjunction with the changes to our face covering policy after July 30. Until then, our guidance of June 7 remains in effect.

Please note that if public health conditions worsen in the coming weeks, either on campus or in surrounding communities, all of the above Covid policies – as well as those that took effect on June 7 – are subject to change.

We thank you again for your ongoing adherence to MIT’s Covid-19 protocols. It has been a whole-community effort, but you have all pitched in to put us on track to achieve full operations in support of MIT’s mission.


Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources

Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor

Martin A. Schmidt, Provost

Glen Shor, Executive Vice President and Treasurer

Cecilia Stuopis, MD, Medical Director, MIT Medical

Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research