The University and Middletown Community Health Center held an on-campus clinic for students to receive bivalent COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, October 19. More than 100 students received their bivalent booster at the clinic, while more than 1,000 students made appointments for flu shots at university clinics in October. Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna were donated to the clinic.
“The COVID situation on campus appears to be very stable at this time,” Medical Director Dr. Tom McLarney wrote in an email to The Argus. “We had a spike in cases shortly after arriving on campus and now we have a few sporadic cases. Students are very diligent with testing…reporting and adhering to our current isolation protocols.
The COVID-19 Reminder Clinic comes as the University reintroduced the COVID-19 Dashboard, which records the number of self-reported cases of COVID-19 among students and employees. Since Monday, October 31, there are an active case of COVID-19 on campusmaking a total of 219 student and employee cases during the semester.
Although many COVID-19 cases on campus have been mild, McLarney stressed the importance of being up to date on vaccinations, as early COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are less effective against Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 currently dominant. subvariants.
“Now is the perfect time to get the bivalent COVID-19 booster (as well as the flu shot),” McLarney wrote. “As you know, late fall and winter (when we all spend more time indoors) are when most viral infections occur. If someone gets vaccinated now, his immune system will be ready to offer the best protection during the autumn-winter period.
This is not the first time the Community Health Center has run clinics in Wesleyan. In addition to the COVID-19 booster clinic, he also led the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the spring of 2021 and provided access to the monkeypox vaccine.
“We are fortunate to have the Community Health Center here in Middletown,” McLarney wrote. “They have been extremely supportive of our efforts to keep our students [healthy] and make vaccinations more accessible…. They are such a valuable resource to the Wesleyan community.
Students who attended the clinic expressed a variety of reasons for receiving the bivalent booster, from close personal contact with COVID-19 to family and community safety.
“I always thought it was important to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Nathan Hausspiegel ’24. “Specifically, this semester, early on, a friend of mine got COVID and it was kind of a scare. I think after that it was a bit more on my radar and that specific clinic made it convenient enough for me to do in the middle of my day as I don’t have a car on campus.
Although the bivalent booster is not currently required for students, the Pandemic Planning Committee will continue to monitor vaccine data as it emerges.
“The Pandemic Planning Committee will continue to monitor data on the effectiveness of the new booster in preventing disease and transmission,” Dean of Students Rick Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus. “For now, we believe encouraging those who need to receive an additional reminder is an important next step in reducing the risk of COVID on campus.
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