Temple University administered booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine yesterday to eligible students, faculty and employees at its first appointment-only booster clinic, which was held in Room G002 of the Paley Building.
Eligible adults can make an appointment to receive their booster shot at one of Temple’s upcoming booster clinics through the Patient Health Portal, The Temple News reported.
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults are eligible to get a booster shot at the clinic if they received their last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago and either have an underlying medical condition, work in a high-risk setting, live in a long-term care facility or are at least 65 years old, The Temple News reported.
The CDC recommended booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on Oct. 21 after the boosters received emergency use authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 22 and Oct. 20 respectively. People who are eligible to receive a booster dose may receive one from a different provider than their original vaccine series, according to the CDC’s website.
Temple ordered its booster doses from the City of Philadelphia soon after the CDC issued its recommendation. About 1,300 people have signed up for booster shots at Temple’s clinics so far, said Mark Denys, director of Student Health Services.
Student Health Services will reassess the need for booster shots after fall break, which is from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28. The university may continue operating the clinic after fall break ends if there is demand, Denys said.
Mona Baishya, a public health graduate student, got her second dose in April, and immediately made an appointment to get her booster dose after receiving an email about the clinic last week. She believed it was her duty, she said.
“I’m in public health myself, and I used to work as an epidemiologist, so I kind of understand all the science behind this,” Baishya said.
Baishya appreciated that Temple held the clinic because she lived with her parents in Colorado during the first semester of her doctoral program, where she was not eligible to receive her first shot because she was learning and working remotely, Baishya said.
“I’m really grateful that I could just come to campus and get the booster,” Baishya said. “I just hope that the students, especially those who are hesitant, come around and understand the importance of all this doing our part.”
Erin Lees also immediately registered to get her booster shot at the clinic because has an underlying medical condition that makes her especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Because I have a condition, I feel like I’m not gonna get as sick as I were if I didn’t get the shot,” said Lees, a junior metals major.
All of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the U.S. reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Booster doses of the vaccine help individuals maintain immunity for longer, according to the CDC’s website.
As of Nov. 5, more than 96 percent of students and faculty are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Temple’s vaccine dashboard.
Olivia Wright, signed up for her booster because she has an autoimmune disease. Getting the booster shot helps slow the spread of COVID-19 by building collective immunity, she added.
“I wasn’t really hesitant about getting it because I live with my grandma, who also has underlying medical conditions, and I also just, really, like, kind of want to get out of COVID and build herd immunity,” said Wright, a junior criminal justice major.
Following city guidelines, Temple is giving students and employees until Nov. 15 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one month longer than the original deadline announced in August, The Temple News reported. Students who are not yet vaccinated can make an appointment to receive their first dose at Paley through Temple’s Patient Health Portal.
Temple administered Pfizer vaccines to students, employees and Philadelphia residents by appointment at a six-week vaccine clinic from March to May, The Temple News reported.
Sarah Algeo has an autoimmune disorder and heart condition, and got the booster shot to better protect herself while taking in-person classes, like a lecture she attends with around 100 students, she said.
“I feel definitely more protected, especially since our school is so big,” said Algeo, a freshman communications major.