Published October 25, 2021
UB is strongly encouraging COVID-19 booster shots for those on campus who are eligible, but has not made them mandatory for students as it did with the initial round of vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week expanded the number of those eligible for boosters, which includes anyone 18 and older who received the initial one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and selected groups 18 and older that received the second Pfizer or Moderna shot at least 6 months ago.
UB students who live in university-run housing and received the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago also are eligible for a booster because they live in a high-risk congregate setting.
Educators and support staff who received the initial one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago or the second Pfizer or Moderna shot at least 6 months ago are also eligible for boosters.
More information on booster eligibility is provided by the CDC.
“We are pleased the CDC has expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots, and we strongly encourage all members of the UB community to get this additional dose as soon as they are eligible. The booster shots have proven safe and effective, and we anticipate they will play an integral role in reducing breakthrough infections, especially as colder weather arrives and more activities move indoors,” says Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Cain also chairs UB’s COVID-19 guidelines committee.
UB required all students to be vaccinated against COVID upon returning to campus this fall, yielding a 99% vaccination rate and relatively few exemptions granted to students for religious or medical purposes.
As of Oct. 21, UB’s positively rate among both students and employees was still very low – a half percent or less – according to SUNY’s COVID-19 dashboard, which is based on a 14-day rolling average of campus-administered tests.
UB, however, will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and work with SUNY, university experts and local and state health departments to determine if at any point boosters should be required for students on campus.
UB hosts a New York State vaccination site in Harriman Hall on the South Campus, which offers Pfizer booster shots to all those who are eligible, including members of the UB community. Those interested in receiving a booster can schedule an appointment or simply walk in. Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card and a government-issued ID.
The Harriman location currently does not offer boosters of the Moderna or J&J vaccine, but the CDC’s new recommendations allow for people to get a boost with a different vaccine than the one they originally received.
Also, UB is offering booster shots – in addition to COVID-19 vaccinations and flu shots – to members of the UB community at clinics on the university’s North, South and Downtown campuses. The following hyperlink has more information about the locations and hours of these sites.
Boosters also are available at local pharmacies, health departments, clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and other locations across New York State. Visit vaccines.gov or text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
For additional details check out UB’s COVID-19 website.
Agree completely with getting a COVID booster, and don’t forget to get your flu shot also! Most pharmacies will give both shots at the same appointment.
Philip L Glick