A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To Members of the Kennedy School Community,

As you know, Harvard will be closed next week and the week after, to give us all a chance to rest, relax, and spend time with our families and friends. I am very grateful for everyone’s vigorous efforts to make the fall semester such a successful time of teaching, learning, and other work to advance our important mission. Before we turn the calendar page to a new year and begin again, I hope you have a wonderful break.

I also hope you will get a COVID booster shot as soon as possible if you have not done so already. The emerging scientific evidence implies that the initial definition of being “fully vaccinated”—which did not include a booster—may not be sufficient, especially with the spread of the Omicron variant. Therefore, the CDC may adjust its official definition of full vaccination, and Harvard may adjust its own requirements. Please don’t wait: Get the booster to protect your own health and the health of your families, friends, and everyone you spend time with. 

Moreover, I hope you will make every effort to reduce transmission of the virus when you socialize, as emphasized in the message from the University yesterday. With a rising prevalence of COVID at Harvard, in the Boston area, and in many places across the country and around the world, we face greater risks than we did before. Please help to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask indoors when you are with other people and wearing a mask outdoors when you are with other people and distancing isn’t possible.

I look forward to our returning to campus safely next month and pursuing our shared and ongoing commitment to improve the common good.
With my best wishes,