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Monday, March 4, 2024

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shots now offered in campus vaccine clinics

Eligible employees and students can make appointments through Health-e-Messaging

Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of a third COVID-19 vaccine dose, the UC Davis vaccine clinic began offering Pfizer-BioNTech shots to eligible students and employees at the end of September.

The Centers for Disease Control Statement on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 encourages booster shots for individuals 65 years and older in long-term facilities, people aged 18-64 at increased risk for contact through their occupation or other environments and people within that age group with medical conditions.

Individuals in these demographics are able to receive the third dose if they were administered the two Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations at least six months ago. Appointments can be made through the Health-e-Messaging website. Proof of immunization will be required along with completion of the Daily Symptom Survey. 

“We just started a few days ago, but it has picked up a lot since we started offering the third one,” Andrea Long, a kiosk worker and lab helper for testing and vaccinations at the UC Davis campus vaccine clinic, said. “I think for a lot of older people and those with conditions, it’s a good thing that we’re offering that especially for staff and students because it’s convenient on campus.”

The decision to offer booster shots is a part of a continued effort to mitigate and ensure a healthy campus environment.

“98% of UC Davis students are vaccinated,” Jeffrey Hoch, a professor of health economics in the Department of Public Health Sciences, said via email. “Having booster shots accessible on campus will facilitate this trend of protecting our community through prevention.”

According to Hoch, the work of Aggie Health Ambassadors and Healthy Davis Together have been successful in educating and strengthening the Davis community. The university has also employed the use of mandatory frequent asymptomatic testing and contact tracing in an effort to keep students, staff and faculty safe.

Through the mask requirement and testing of thousands of students, the campus has reported a 0.15% positive rate since Sept. 14 and 7% of on-campus isolation and quarantine housing in use.

“Prevention is the key to public health, and getting the vaccine is the key to beating [COVID-19],” Hoch said via email. “Offering the booster shot continues this tradition of helping our community stay safe.”

Written by: Christine Lee — campus@theaggie.org


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