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Does the university need booster shots? : NPR

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A nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Long Beach City Public Health Mobile Vaccination Clinic at California State University Long Beach.

Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images


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Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images


A nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Long Beach City Public Health Mobile Vaccination Clinic at California State University Long Beach.

Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

This week, Wesleyan University in Connecticut hosted its first booster immune vaccine clinic on campus. CJ Joseph, a freshman who is still thinking about what to major in, applied immediately.

“I was like,’Yes, yes, I’ll be the first to get it,'” says Joseph, one of the first students to be shot. Beckman Hall Wednesday Clinic..

Convenience was a big selling point. “There’s a lot to do,” explains Joseph. “It was a lot easier because I could walk for four minutes just to get the COVID vaccine. I didn’t have to spend money to infect Uber with Walgreens or CVS.”

Liberal Arts Campus 3,000 students, This spring, those on campus will need a COVID-19 booster shot. This is one of the first universities to do so.

“There is no reason to hesitate,” says Michael Ross, President of Wesleyan University. “Some people don’t like to be the first, but in this case it doesn’t seem to be a particularly dangerous place to be the first for public health.”

More than 1,000 universities across the country needed the COVID-19 vaccine for their students and staff this year. Higher Education Chronicle..

With CDC Recommendations In order for all adults to get booster shots, the university now needs to consider how to incorporate additional doses into the pandemic response plan.

For now, many schools simply recommend additional doses to students and staff.Some of them Duke University, Mandated by early adopters of campus vaccines last spring. Rutgers, Mainly cited as the first US university to request COVID-19 vaccination, “There are no imminent plans to request boosters from community members,” we issued a statement. However, administrators are encouraging “everyone to use booster shots as a way to increase their personal protection against viruses.”

For a small university, booster requirements were an easy decision

In Wesleyan, Ross said there were some colleagues who questioned making it a requirement, and argued that compliance would be high anyway among the already vaccinated student population.

He says that requesting a booster makes it a social norm rather than an individual decision. “The majority of our people would have won boosters without encouragement, but we want to raise the rate as high as possible,” he says.

He points out other vaccine requirements on college campuses, such as meningitis, measles, mumps and rubella, and much of the ambiguity he sees comes from the politicization of the COVID-19 vaccine. I point out that there is. “It seemed like our duty,” he says.

Joseph, who is at high risk of asthma, is grateful for his clear message.

“I’m really grateful for the fact that I need to take a booster shot,” says Joseph. “I feel like some people think of the next step shot as” oh, anything. ” get it. ‘””

According to Joseph, the campus feels safer because of its mission, as well as its accessibility.

About an hour after Joseph got the booster, his junior Harry Sternberg, who is studying history and French, lined up to get her. She saw her friends lined up. She caught up with them and talked about Thanksgiving breaks and the next needle they were supporting.

“People are excited and ready to get it done,” she said after taking the shot. “Like everyone, I’m going to make it clear that I won’t get sick [with side effects] Because I don’t have time. There is a final match. Next week I will have a presentation and the next week’s dissertation, so I’m trying to get out of the way. ”

Do you need booster shots on more campuses?

One question the university still needs to answer is, given that boosters are encouraged by all adults, does the CDC update the definition of what it means to be “fully vaccinated”? .. “This fully vaccinated term is very important in determining what it means to the community,” explains Gerri Taylor, Co-Chair of the American College Health Association’s COVID-19 Task Force. To do. “In fact, if the CDC says that being fully vaccinated means, for example, boosting immunization within 6 months of vaccination, the university makes it a requirement. There is a possibility.”

Her organization will issue guidance to the university when it happens, but in the meantime, it is recommended that the university set up a booster clinic on campus and encourage the community to take additional shots. ..

“The university is ready to do boosters,” she says. They “have a captive population and the bet is there. We want students to go back to school, but we’ve heard it many times from the American Academy of Pediatrics and students.”

She points out two complex factors: staffing and timing. According to a recent study by the American College Health Association, due to the intensity and duration of the pandemic, the top two concerns at the College Health Center were staffing and burnout.

As for timing, there isn’t much left in the fall semester before the finals and winter vacation. “Timing is very important and has been going on throughout this pandemic,” says Taylor. “So, do you start a booster clinic now, or do you do it in January or February when students return to this spring semester?”

She says they are the decisions the university is currently making.

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2/ https://www.npr.org/2021/12/03/1060847011/colleges-with-high-vaccination-rates-must-now-decide-if-theyll-require-boosters

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