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University to offer second COVID-19 booster shots

University to offer second COVID-19 booster shots

University to offer second COVID-19 booster shots
April 15
14:02 2022

Students and staff who are eligible for a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive it on campus starting this month. 

A second booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration on March 29. The second shots are available to individuals 50 years or older and those over 12 years of age who are immunocompromised. 

Students, faculty, staff and university system employees can sign up to receive their second COVID-19 booster shot on the university booster registry.

“Appointments will be scheduled based on available vaccine supply and staffing,” said Amy Armstrong, director of communications for the Division of Student Affairs. “We recommend that our community follow current [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines.”

COVID-19 vaccines protect people from becoming seriously ill, being hospitalized or dying from the disease, according to the CDC. The organization recommends staying up to date with vaccines, especially for those who are immunocompromised

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC, said at a White House briefing earlier this month that the agency encourages people over 50 who have underlying medical conditions and those over the age of 65 to get a second booster shot. President Joe Biden received his second booster shot on March 30.

Individuals who are currently eligible can receive their second booster if they have waited at least four months since the last shot. Human development and family science sophomore Marianna De Leon said she plans to get it as soon as possible.

“I got my first booster shot in September 2021 because I am high risk and it was my first semester in person on campus after my cancer treatment,” De Leon said.  “Masks and social distancing are coming to an end and I feel safer as a high-risk person with a second booster. I also want to protect the people I come in contact with, including children at the hospital I volunteer at.”

De Leon said she will get her second booster on campus if possible and feels safer going to in-person classes because of vaccinations. 

From October 2021 through April 2022, the university administered 1,273 booster shots at the Student Health and Wellness Center, Armstrong said. Bioengineering sophomore Swanand Khanzode received his booster shot on campus and plans to do the same for his second.

“It’s a good way to promote and support the healthcare service UNT is providing,” Khanzode said. “I travel quite a bit yearly as I am an international student, so taking the second booster seems like a good idea. Better safe than sorry is always my mantra, especially with COVID.”

Despite the highly contagious omicron BA.2 subvariant spreading across the country, the university has seen a drastic decrease in cases since the beginning of the semester, which saw over 500 positive tests each week for three consecutive weeks in January.

For the most recent week, ending on April 8, there were 10 positive tests for COVID-19 on campus. At its peak, there was a 28.49 percent positivity rate of tests conducted on campus. For the past three weeks, the positivity rate has been around 3 percent. 

Information about on-campus COVID-19 and vaccinations can be found on the SHWC website at studentaffairs.unt.edu/student-health-and-wellness-center

Featured Illustration By J. Robynn Aviles

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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