COVID-19 Booster Shots Now Available to All Students

SLU students, faculty and staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster vaccine. The criteria for receiving the vaccine include being 65 years or older, 18 years or older and having an underlying medical condition or 18 years or older and living or working in high-risk settings. Because St. Louis City public health officials deem the SLU community as individuals living or working in a high risk setting, Billikens are eligible to get the shot. 

“St. Louis City public health authorities consider the CDC’s new eligibility criteria to permit all University community members over 18 years of age to obtain a booster vaccination dose because we all live and/or work in an educational setting,” said Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Terri Rebbman. 

She clarified in her newsletter that individuals can receive a booster shot made by any of the FDA approved companies and not just the one they received for their first or second doses. 

“The CDC and Missouri now allow mixing and matching of booster doses, meaning that each individual gets to decide which type of vaccine—Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson—they want for their COVID-19 booster dose,” Rebbman said. 

However, special instructions were given regarding how long one should wait after receiving the final dose of their initial vaccine and before receiving their booster shot. Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine are instructed to wait two or more months before receiving a booster shot. Those who received the Pfzier or Moderna vaccines are instructed to wait six months or more after they completed their second dose. 

Students can schedule an appointment to receive their booster shot on campus online, where they will find  a consent form to fill in, as well as providing specific information regarding parking and clothing. Furthermore, fact sheets are provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services with in-depth information on the vaccines produced by each brand for students to learn more about. In addition to being able to receive the shot on campus, students can also get their booster using Missouri’s vaccine navigator site, which allows users to search by zip code to find an appointment. 

“They should bring their vaccination card with them to their appointment, although they can obtain a booster dose without it,” says Rebbman. 

Though students are now eligible to receive the booster vaccine, they are not required to receive it to be compliant with the University’s vaccine policy.