SALEM — Salem State University will require students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to campus in-person this fall. 

The university will also continue to host vaccination clinics for the North Shore. 

Presidents within the Massachusetts state university system, which includes Salem State, announced Monday that undergraduate and graduate students who are attending in-person classes, conducting research on campus, living in residence halls or participating in campus life activities will be required to become fully inoculated prior to the start of the 2021 academic year.

“Student safety and the safety of our communities remains at the forefront of our planning as we prepare to return to in-person learning and campus life in the fall,” James Birge, president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and chair of the Massachusetts State University Council of Presidents, said.

In addition to Salem State, the new requirement applies to students at Bridgewater, Fitchburg, Framingham, Westfield and Worcester state universities; Massachusetts College of Art & Design; Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Northeastern University and Emerson College in Boston and UMass Amherst have already announced a similar requirement.  

Salem State is also offering its Rocket Arena at the O’Keefe Athletic Center on Canal Street for vaccine distribution later this year, according to Elise Castillo, Salem State’s associate dean of students for wellness.

The university was already hosting regional vaccination clinics on South Campus in concert with several North Shore communities. The effort at the O’Keefe Center, Castillo said, comes via recent approval from the Salem Board of Health to help improve vaccine access on the North Shore. Dates for the clinic have yet to be announced.

While the clinic will help the North Shore, Castillo said, “we’ll also very directly be helping our students and employees access the vaccine on campus.”

“They don’t have to get it from us,” she said, “but we certainly want to do our part to help the community, our students and employees to get the vaccine in a convenient way this summer if they haven’t already.” 

Staff writer Dustin Luca contributed to this report. 

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