From Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in the Sutton Center, all eligible students, faculty, and staff can make appointments will be able to receive booster vaccines against COVID-19.
Eligibility is determined by when and which type of vaccine a person has received. If someone originally received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, then they would become eligible two months afterward. If someone’s original vaccine was Moderna or Pfizer, then they are eligible six months after the second dose.
Wake Forest University is offering only the Pfizer vaccine booster at this week’s clinic.
“The Pfizer vaccine is safe for anyone that got Johnson & Johnson or Moderna,” Crystal, one of the nurses at the clinic, said. Recipients of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson; and Pfizer are all eligible for the Pfizer booster when complying with the time-based guidelines.
The booster clinic has been successful with a great turnout in recent days.
“It’s been good to see people getting out here,” RN Kimberly Bottoms from Student Health Service said. “Yesterday nearly 400 people showed up.”
Nov. 30 had a turnout of 384 students, and another 102 students were scheduled for Dec. 1. Additionally, there are over 50 students scheduled for the clinic on Dec. 2, and a number of students are still on the waitlist.
Numerous students expressed gratitude for the availability of the vaccine and booster shot.
“I think we sometimes take for granted the resources we have here at Wake Forest,” said sophomore Ellie Gitter. “I’m so thankful to have such easy access to get not only the vaccine last April, but the booster so soon after it became available.”
While the booster shot remains optional, Wake Forest University encourages the student body to take advantage of the free and convenient on-campus clinic for the safety of the campus community. The CDC also urges anyone over the age of 18 to find booster shots nearby, such as at pop-up clinics or CVS Pharmacy locations.
With 97% of the student body vaccinated, it is no surprise that students are taking precautionary measures by getting the booster shot. Thanks to these continual high rates of vaccination, Wake Forest has had only 186 reported positive cases since Aug. 1, 2021.
In a video to students, Dr. Chris Ohl, an infectious disease expert at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, discusses whether or not it is worth getting the booster as a young and healthy student. According to Ohl, students should consider the vaccine booster in order to avoid the inconvenience of quarantine and possible symptomatic infection as well as to protect the Wake Forest University community and the surrounding communities.
“The initial vaccine protects against serious infection, hospitalization and death, but there are breakthrough cases,” Ohl said. “Breakthrough infection can be a very annoying thing to happen when you are a busy student. Getting a breakthrough before finals, before Rush, before classes in the spring will mean that you will have to quarantine for 10 days– and nobody wants that.”
The successful clinic is an important step for increasing safety, especially with the imminent Omicron variant and travel over Winter break.
More information regarding COVID-19 measures and policies at Wake Forest University can be found at ourwayforward.wfu.edu.