COVID Vaccines Boosters, Flu and You: Important Health Information for Everyone
The following message with information on monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms after the Thanksgiving break and where to get the COVID booster or flu shot on campus this week was sent to the Drexel community.
- Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 after you return from Thanksgiving break, and follow safety protocols if you experience any.
- Everyone over age 18 is now eligible for a booster if 6 months from their last mRNA vaccine or two (2) months from a J&J vaccine.
- International students who received a WHO-approved vaccine are eligible for a booster if six (6) months out from their primary series.
- Flu season is here and it’s not too late to vaccinate!
- Get your COVID booster and a flu shot at this week’s special scheduled clinics.
- Visit the Response to Coronavirus site for the most up-to-date guidelines.
Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,
We hope you had a safe and fulfilling Thanksgiving break! We’re grateful that we are all together again this season, and we hope you felt surrounded and supported by community, no matter where you were and what you chose to do.
The news cycle has been filled with information concerning a new viral variant named omicron. While it’s too soon to know if this new variant will impact any of our safety protocols, no doubt the news has impacted how many of us feel — tired of masking and weary of the impact on our relationships and daily life. We understand. But as we collectively move toward Winter Break, we remain heartened that, together, we have achieved what was unthinkable just one year ago: college life during a pandemic. There may be uncertainty about omicron, but it’s more important than ever to continue with what we do know — a layered strategy works. Vaccination including booster doses, indoor masking, attention to ventilation, testing and an effective contact tracing program aimed at containing infection allow us to move forward. This week, we wany to talk about boosters, flu vaccine and planning for Winter Break.
Booster Eligibility Broadened, Clinics on Campus Dec. 1-3
Now is a good time to start planning for a COVID-safer winter holiday. One of the most effective things you can do is to get a booster vaccine shot well in advance. According to CDC guidelines, all U.S. adults are now eligible to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, as long as it’s been two months or more since an initial Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose, or six months or more since you received your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. In addition, all international students who received a WHO-authorized vaccine outside the United States are eligible for a booster six months after their initial series.
This week, Drexel is holding free COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics for all students and employees at the Creese Student Center in Behrakis Grand Hall as follows:
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m,
Thursday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine will be available at the booster clinics. Please bring your vaccination card with you to clinic along with your Drexel ID. You can conveniently schedule your appointment for your booster dose here. You can now conveniently record your booster using the Drexel Health Checker and upload your latest vaccine card.
The Flu is Here, So is the Vaccine
Recently, significant campus outbreaks of Influenza have occurred among hundreds of college students regionally and nationally. Flu can cause high fever, muscle pain and persistent cough. Vaccination can help prevent or lessen the symptoms of flu. If you haven’t gotten your shot, it is not too late! Flu vaccination is offered at all Drexel COVID vaccine clinics for a fee of $35, reimbursable by most insurance companies. You can also get your flu shot through Student Health (call 215.220.4700) and area retail pharmacies. Flu vaccine will be available at the upcoming booster clinics.
Visit our vaccination information page for more.
Take Care as You Return to Campus
Rates of COVID-19 were rising in the Philadelphia region and in some Midwestern and Northeastern states prior to Thanksgiving; it is reasonable to anticipate an additional uptick in COVID exposures after holiday gatherings.
Please monitor your health for the next week or two, and watch for any symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever/chills, cough, or headache. Symptoms can be less prominent in vaccinated people, so don’t dismiss even mild issues — record them on the Drexel Health Checker, isolate yourself (don’t come to work or class), and get a COVID test. When in doubt, test. For more, see our Public Health Guidelines and our page on What to Do if You Feel Sick.
Even if you haven’t traveled, as cases rise, it’s more important than ever to follow public health guidelines like mask-wearing to reduce your risk of exposure.
Looking Forward to Winter Break
- If possible, plan your holidays so you can avoid big crowds and spending time indoors with people who aren’t vaccinated and/or masked; if such risks can’t be avoided, make sure your vaccinations are up to date and wear a mask when you can.
- Follow all public health guidelines while traveling, including wearing a mask.
- Check the rules of your carrier(s) AND your destination before you travel. You may need proof of vaccination.
- Talk to loved ones in advance about COVID safety precautions.
- If you traveled or saw loved ones this Thanksgiving, think about any lessons you can apply to the upcoming break. Did you feel safe at gatherings? Are there adjustments or boundaries you need to discuss for next time? Travel hiccups to avoid?
Thank you for everything you do to keep yourself and your fellow Dragons healthy. At the center of all we do is you — your health and well-being. We forge on, committed to the science, implementing together what is feasible and taking care of one another.
Marla J. Gold, MD, FACP
Chief Wellness Officer and Senior Vice Provost for Community Health
Janet Cruz, MD
Director, Student Health Services