Alexandra Boursican ’23
Trinity announced its plans to potentially offer an on-campus clinic for COVID-19 booster shots in conjunction with Hartford Healthcare, according to an email from Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina and Chief of Staff Jason. Their announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) expansion of the booster shot eligibility requirements on Thursday, Oct. 21.
DiChristina and Rojas indicated that booster shots are not required to work, attend class, or live on campus at this time. However, Rojas told the Tripod via email in October that, “Our goal is to be able to provide boosters to students and others as allowed before the thanksgiving holiday.” Their email also contained a survey for members of the Trinity community to complete; the College will then use student responses to gauge interest in an on-campus vaccine clinic.
Referring to guidelines from the CDC, DiChristina and Rojas indicated that the following groups who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are eligible for booster shots at six months or more after their initial series: age 65 years or older, age 18+ who live in long-term care settings, age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings which include institutions of higher education. Those who are 18 years of age or older and received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are advised to obtain a booster shot two months after their first vaccination date.
Trinity is not alone in its plans to administer booster shots. Yale University, similarly situated in an urban setting, expanded eligibility for booster shots last month to students following the CDC’s new guidelines. The University of California Los Angeles and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst began their booster shot clinics last month as well.
However, other institutions, such as Harvard University, will only provide Flu vaccines but not COVID-19 booster shots. This decision at Harvard was primarily due to the University’s prioritization of affiliates who still have not received their first or second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Trinity’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign dates back to March when Rojas informed the Tripod that the College was hoping to have “students return either vaccinated or with a first dose” after the summer. The following month, Trinity announced that it would require students on-campus to be vaccinated along with plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions. Before the start of the new academic year in August, Trinity announced that 94% of students, faculty, and staff had been fully vaccinated — a figure which has since increased to 98%.