COVID-19 booster clinic this week

Bella Lee, Staff writer

It has been nearly two years since COVID-19 first entered our world and changed the way we lived our lives. Most of us on campus have been fully vaccinated against COVID. However, with breakthrough cases and variants making their rounds, it is time that we increased our safety. That is why on Nov. 18, Mercyhurst will be offering a booster shot clinic on campus.

Time slots are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on this date. As of Nov. 12, 380 people have registered. In order to qualify, it must have been at least two months since one received their Johnson & Johnson shot or at least six months since the second Pfizer or Moderna shot. Students should be prepared with their vaccination card, health insurance card and photo ID.

If one is unable to make it to Thursday’s clinic, there is no need to worry.

“Students can also utilize clinics in the Erie community to obtain a booster shot, but we are hopeful that many students will take advantage of this opportunity prior to Thanksgiving break,” said Sarah Allen, assistant vice president for Student Life.

There has been a strong planning committee that we can thank for being able to pull this off.

Laura Zirkle, Ph.D, vice president for Student Life; Sue Sweeney, Assistant Athletic Director for Student Athlete Health and Wellness; Kyndra Zacherl, Enrollment Data Scientist and Web Manager; Andrea Barnett, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Lisa Frampton, Coordinator of Student Life; and Sean Cuneo, Director of Marketing and Brand Management all worked together to make this possible for students.

Mercyhurst is teaming up with LECOM in order to make this vaccination booster clinic happen. In addition to booster shots, students can also receive their first doses of Pfizer or Moderna if they have not been vaccinated yet.
In the past week, Zirkle sent
out an email on behalf of Mercyhurst to the entire campus including faculty and staff on the latest COVID-19 vaccination rates of the campus. With excellent COVID-19 vaccination rates, Mercyhurst has granted itself significant protection against severe illness.

“Studies show that even with the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with the Delta variant may decrease over time. This reduction in protection has led the CDC to recommend booster shots for certain populations, including those of us in education settings like Mercyhurst,” said Zirkle.
As Thanksgiving Break quickly
approaches, it is a good idea for students to register so that they can continue to be protected as they go home to their families.

“…we should all be mindful of our travel and interactions with others. A COVID-19 booster provides near-immediate increased immune response, additional protection that may be especially beneficial during this time of year,” said Zirkle.

If you have not registered for the on-campus clinic yet, do it as soon as possible! If you are not able to make it, you may be able to find a vaccine booster in the  local Erie community to reinforce your protection for the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter breaks.