Health Services is holding a reminder clinic on campus

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By Rebecca Osowski and Alexandra White – Feature editor and contributor 1851

Students wait for their booster shots at the de Witt Hall clinic. Photo courtesy of Rich Arnold

On February 2, Health Services hosted a COVID-19 booster clinic at de Witt Hall for those eligible to receive their booster shot. The boosters were distributed by Osco Pharmacy and Shaw’s Supermarket and administered by pharmacists.

According to Director of Health Services Richard Arnold, 296 boosters were administered.

The clinic was organized to ease stress for students who may have difficulty accessing the vaccine.

“A lot of students don’t necessarily have transportation off campus to get to a local doctor or pharmacy to get their shots,” Arnold said. “So when we can host clinics like this, it’s also for a convenience factor.”

The booster became mandatory for every member of the community on December 16. According to Arnold, six months after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, immunity to the virus begins to wane. .

The decision to require the booster shot was “based on data and science at the time, and we still meet twice a week with the [COVID-19] working group and we are still looking at all kinds of data, local, national and global,” Arnold said.

Although the recall does not prevent an individual from contracting COVID-19, it significantly decreases the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, death and transmission, according to Arnold.

Junior Hospitality Major Laurel Holmes and Junior Event Management Major Sophia Oliveras both went to the booster clinic. Like many students, they chose to participate in the booster clinic because of its convenience. Holmes said she was surprised at the organization of the event.

“They had booths for everyone to sit down and get their shots, and they had a nice barrier between people who forgot to fill out their forms and then people who got the booster,” Holmes said. “Overall, I think everything went well.”

At the clinic, the students provided the staff with the documents they filled out when making an appointment, as well as their insurance card and student ID. Forms were also available for those who had not completed them before.

Oliveras and Holmes said they had trouble finding appointments to get their boosters over winter break and were glad a booster clinic was held on campus.

Oliveras said she was able to cross the line and get her recall in 15 minutes. While at the clinic, students were asked to submit their booster records after receiving their vaccine. “It was convenient because you could upload your status while you were there,” Oliveras said. “They had instructions on the chairs while you waited…You could upload them immediately to the portal, so it was done.”

While Arnold agrees the clinic was a success and went well, he is open to feedback from those who attended. “I encourage feedback after any of these events, so we can look for improvements in the future,” Arnold said.

While convenience was the goal of the reminder clinic, some students say Lasell shouldn’t have had the clinic on the same day as the deadline to upload COVID-19 reminder records.

“They did the encore on Feb. 2 and then the encore clinic on Feb. 2, I feel like there should be a little more time between those two,” Holmes said. “Also, maybe make it two days, because a lot of people ended up going.”

As the Omicron variant continues to spread and discussions about an Omicron-specific booster vaccine begin, Arnold does not see Lasell demanding this vaccine for students, faculty, and staff.

“At this point, we don’t require the Omicron-specific vaccine, nor do I anticipate it because we have such a good level of protection with the current boosters,” Arnold said.

According to an email sent by Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs David Hennessey, the Lasell community has a vaccination rate of over 98%.

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