As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to pan out, booster shots are beginning to be administered across the country in order to help reinforce the COVID-19 protection provided by vaccination. At the University, students and faculty alike have begun getting their “boosters.”
According to information available on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people aged 65 years and older, 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who live in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot. The website also advises people 18 years and older to receive a booster shot at least two months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now allows for individuals to “mix-and-match” or receive booster shots of a different origin than the one they originally received.
As booster vaccines continue to be rolled out, students are curious about whether or not the University will require the broader campus community to get a booster when they are eligible.
In recent Message Center Digest emails, updates on getting booster vaccines are offered on a regular basis. One message was submitted by registered nurse and health educator Melissa Allen, who advised students to “review […] guidance from the CDC to determine if you are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. If you meet the criteria, please schedule at any local facility offering vaccines and remember to send the documentation of your booster to [email protected]”
University student Bella Dragone ’24 just received her COVID-19 booster shot, speaking to The Bucknellian about her experience with the booster-shot process. “I got my second dose in April and felt like it was finally time to get the booster. I went onto the CVS website and was able to fill out the questionnaire and get a same-day-appointment for the booster,” she explained, reassuring students that “the process was pretty much exactly like it was with the first two.”
“It’s important that everyone gets the shot whenever they qualify because it will help us continue to loosen restrictions like masking and social distancing. The only way to get over this is to do it together,” Dragone said.
Student Sarah Hanlon ’24 received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier in the year and recently became eligible for her booster. “I got [the Johnson & Johnson vaccine] in March and just got my booster because I think it’s super important to protect the community. It was super easy,” Hanlon added, “and I got a Target gift card after! Everyone should get their boosters.”
Members of the University community are encouraged to get their boosters when eligible. All prospective recipients should sign up online ahead of time and bring vaccination cards to booster vaccine appointments.