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BOSTON, MA — The Museum of Science, Boston, one of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most attended cultural institution, announced today a requirement that all employees and volunteers are to be vaccinated against COVID-19, effective September 13. The policy is in response to overwhelming scientific evidence of the vaccination’s safety and effectiveness in combating COVID-19.
Museum president Tim Ritchie spoke about the importance of the Museum setting an example as a trusted community resource:
“In early 2020, we closed our doors because the world was fighting a pandemic about which we had little knowledge and against which we had limited defense. Now, thanks to the wonders of science, we have the tools and expertise to eradicate this virus from our communities. We just need to act together.
We know from a staff survey conducted earlier this year that a resounding majority of our staff are already vaccinated. Yet, the evolution of the Delta variant requires that we take a firm position to safeguard the health of our employees and volunteers, their families, our visitors, and the community at large. As the Museum of Science, we must follow the evidence.
The Museum of Science is among our state’s most trusted science communicators, and we take that responsibility seriously. We hope our decision inspires anyone who hasn’t yet gotten the vaccine that doing so is safe and will protect them and their family.”
Employees and volunteers who are not currently vaccinated must receive their first vaccination shot no later than September 13. The Museum will accommodate time needed to get the vaccination. For those with an approved medical or religious accommodation, the Museum will make an exemption but will require masking and twice-weekly testing.
This announcement comes just days after the Museum initiated a new mask wearing policy for all staff and visitors in accordance with CDC guidance that recommends masks for all while inside, regardless of vaccination status.
Throughout the pandemic, the Museum has served the public by providing a platform for experts and the community to hear and learn from each other. This included several public Town Hall forums, online resources for parents and educators, a state-wide poll on vaccine hesitancy, and serving as a public vaccination site in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
On Monday, August 16, as part of its commitment as a trusted science communicator, the Museum will open its newest exhibition, Project Vaccine: Our Best Defense at Science Park. The exhibition captures the story of the effort to create vaccines for COVID-19, informs the public about the science behind vaccine development, and showcases the stories of the people working in all stages of the process: from development to manufacturing, to dissemination and distribution.