Salisbury University is providing COVID-19 booster shots to students and faculty.
“Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination booster shots are available for all eligible SU community members,” according to SU’s COVID-19 Vaccination Information webpage.
SU Students and staff are eligible for booster vaccines because schools are classified as high-risk settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SU requires all on-campus students and faculty to either be vaccinated or register an exemption.
However, booster shots “are recommended for those eligible, but not required to maintain campus access,” according to SU’s COVID-19 Vaccination Information webpage.
Rising breakthrough cases make booster doses crucial in the defense against infection on college campuses.
“30.3% of cases [in Maryland] over [October were] ‘breakthrough cases’ compared to just 5.9% in May,” according to Washington’s Top News.
“[Booster vaccines] will decrease the number of mild breakthrough cases,” according to Professor Steven Lawrence, M.D. of Washington University in St. Louis.
Lawrence said those with mild breakthrough infections are still contagious and should isolate.
Allowing vaccination status to determine campus access for community members sets a precedent which should include booster doses.
Initial vaccination efficacy is waning, and the pandemic shows no signs of stopping.
“The virus, SARS-CoV-2, is slippery and opportunistic. It is still mutating. It has appeared to lose traction several times … only to surge anew as it took advantage of more lax behavior and the contagiousness of mutated variants,” according to The Washington Post.
The holiday season ahead could see another surge in infections.
“Many cold-weather states … have recently seen a rise in cases and hospitalizations. Alaska, slipping into its dark winter, has the highest infection rate in the nation,” according to The Washington Post.
Cold weather also brings the flu, which can be caught simultaneously with COVID, as previously reported by The Flyer.
SU can strengthen its defense against a winter twin-demic by requiring all vaccinated students and staff to receive a booster dose.
Administration should set a deadline for vaccinated community members to receive their booster shot to retain campus access.
By JACOB BEAVER
Featured photo by Ben Lausch