SHC offers booster shot

Students can make an appointment online

Fatimah Azeem
Opinion Editor

The Student Health Center is now offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to eligible students.

As with previous COVID-19 vaccines provided by the SHC, these boosters will be the Moderna brand. Director of Student Health Center Lea Aubrey said the state determines booster brand and quantity based on statewide vaccine availability. Students eligible for a booster include those who received all recommended vaccine doses of Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson at least five months ago – or two months ago if they received Johnson and Johnson – and are currently enrolled in the University. To get the booster, Aubrey said students should contact the SHC to make an appointment or schedule an appointment through the online patient portal link, which the SHC plans to send out through an announcement email in the near future. The scheduling link will also be available on the SHC website once the announcement goes out.

“We would prefer that students reach out to us to see what’s available rather than walking in, so we aren’t overwhelmed,” Aubrey said. “Again, with COVID numbers still on the rise, we want to make sure we keep everyone protected by spacing out appointments. And if a student needs assistance with making an appointment, we’ll definitely do our best to accommodate them and find a time that works for their schedule.”

Because SHC services are for students only, and the SHC isn’t partnering with vaccine providers such as Walmart like they did last semester, staff, faculty and employees can’t schedule booster appointments with them. They can, however, check with their primary health care provider or local health department to get a booster elsewhere.

“It does seem that boosters are readily available in the community,” Aubrey said. “I know CVS, Tom Thumb and Kroger are offering them just off the top of my head, so staff, faculty and employees could go there. For the most part, they’d need to make appointments online like how we’re doing.”

Students coming in for their SHC booster appointment should bring their vaccine card to verify that they’ve received their primary doses and so the clinician can sign off on the card documenting that they completed the appointment.

“Not all places are requiring the booster shots, but different states have different requirements and I’ve had to show my vaccine card when traveling,” Aubrey said, “So, I think it’s easier for [students] to maintain the information in one place, which is why we’re signing off on the same card instead of giving them a new one.”

The SHC will post advisements on what to do after receiving a booster, like the “wait in the building for 15 minutes after getting your shot to monitor for any side effects” advisements posted last year at the Walmart pop-up clinic. Aubrey said she highly recommends students fill out the Voluntary Booster Reporting Form after they complete their appointment.

“It would definitely help the University keep track of the number of students vaccinated, and it’s helpful on our end for record-keeping purposes,” Aubrey said.