By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief
The Towson University Health Center will provide flu and updated COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Friday, Sept. 9.
The vaccines, which are being given in partnership with Safeway, will be available to TU students, faculty and staff, according to a campus-wide email sent early Tuesday. The bivalent COVID vaccine booster will be available on-campus as well.
“All TU students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to receive one or both vaccines,” the email said.
The Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccines to authorize a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to be used as a booster dose on Aug. 31, a press release reads.
The updated COVID booster contains an additional strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus aimed to provide stronger protection against the Omicron variant, the FDA said.
Following the FDA approval, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the updated boosters on Sept. 1.
People are eligible for the updated booster at least two months after receiving the primary round of COVID vaccines and booster shots. The updated Moderna booster can be given to people 18 years and older, while the updated Pfizer-BioNTech booster can be given to those 12 years and older.
While the university required students, faculty and staff to receive COVID booster shots last spring, they are not requiring the TU community to receive the updated bivalent booster.
“While vaccination is no longer mandatory, all TU students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19,” the university’s COVID-19 response page reads.
The vaccine clinics will be held on every Friday through Nov. 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the West Village Testing Center located on the first floor of the West Village Garage.
In terms of the transmission of COVID, Maryland reported 1,161 new cases and a 10.44% positivity rate on Sept. 3, according to the state’s COVID dashboard. Additionally, 4.7 million Marylanders are fully vaccinated.