More than 450 people are still dying from COVID-19 each day in the United States and more than 30% of people in the United States aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19—but there’s more than masking that can be done about it by the average college student than one might expect.
As of the end of August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a COVID-19 vaccine specific to the emergent Omicron variant for anyone 18 years of age or older—or as young as 12 years old when using Pfizer as a base vaccine. The FDA predicts that the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are projected to run rampant come autumn and winter 2022.
During the Fall 2021 semester on campus, former Health Education Coordinator Susan Stahley worked extensively to make current COVID-19 testing, case tracking and vaccination available on campus. Even so, the Omicron booster was not yet approved for use by college-age people. Since Stahley’s retirement starting Fall 2022—coupled with continued aggressive legislation against COVID-19 containment protocols—the campus’s COVID-19 response has been much more subdued.
More than ever, it’s imperative that proper safety precautions are taken in light of the emerging flu season. Luckily, the COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine can be taken in the same visit—albeit in different arms—with no specific safety concerns.Well within walking distance of the New College campus—less than a mile—are a number of establishments carrying the Pfizer and Moderna booster, including but not limited to Publix, Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy.