College Looks to Start Vaccine Clinic for Booster Shots

Samuel Boudreau

News Editor

 

As many students pass the sixth month point of initially receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, students are now looking to receive their COVID-19 booster shot. 

While President Sarah Bolton told the Voice in September that, “if we come to a situation where there are booster shots available, we will certainly make sure that those are available on campus,” the College has struggled to find a provider for a vaccine clinic. 

“We are looking to start with a booster clinic for those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines,” Bolton said, “because the new CDC recommendations are that everyone who got the one-dose should go ahead and get a second shot as a booster.”

Regarding the members of the campus community who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Bolton clarified, “Our data show that only about 50 students fall into this category, but there are staff and faculty who do as well.”  People who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and are 18 years and older should receive a booster shot at least 2 months after receiving their primary vaccine dose, according to the CDC.

While the College looks to start up a booster clinic, Bolton said that it is struggling to find local vaccine providers. “We have reached out to the [Wayne County] Health Department, who have generously offered to do clinics for us in the past, but unfortunately they aren’t available to do one for us at this time. So, we are reaching out to others,” she stated. 

Regarding the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Bolton says the College cannot offer these vaccines yet due to their “more specific recommendations.”

“For Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccine types,” Bolton said, “the booster recommendations are more specific by age, work role, et cetera.” She continued, “We may also offer booster clinics for those vaccines, but we are focusing on J&J first because of the broad recommendation.”

On Oct. 21, the CDC expanded eligibility for the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. According to the CDC, “people who received a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series and are 18 to 49 years old with underlying medical conditions, or 18 years and older who work or live in high-risk settings may receive a booster shot at least 6 months after completing the primary series (which may include an additional primary dose in persons with moderate to severe immunocompromise).”

“People ages 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot based on their individual risks and benefits.” 

While the College has not established COVID-19 vaccine clinics for booster shots, some students have individually been able to receive their booster shot. One of the students is Chloe Wright ’23, who received her Pfizer booster shot at a Walmart store in Wooster.

When asked about how she received her booster shot, Wright said, “I scheduled it online, because, when I first got it, I got it at a Walmart 30 minutes away. This time, Walmart automatically sent me a link to receive my booster shot.” 

“I haven’t heard everything from the College itself,” Wright added. “From what it sounds like, it is mostly people going out and finding it on their own.”  

In a statement released on their website, the Wayne County Health Department said that they will be administering Initial, Second, and Third dose booster COVID-19 vaccines to those eligible for Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson on Nov. 18, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the American Red Cross Building.”

The American Red Cross’s new home is the American Red Cross Building and its address is: 244 W. South Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691.

To schedule an appointment with the Wayne County Health Department, you must schedule an appointment at: https://www.wayne-health.org/coronavirus.

To find local providers of the Pfizer, Moderna, and/or Johnson & Johnson booster shots, visit https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.