By Daniel Meyers | September 12, 2022
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
UAlbany students are not required to receive the new booster to be on campus, following the authorization by the Federal Food and Drug Administration of another COVID-19 booster for anyone 12 and older.
The newest COVID-19 vaccine has been described by health officials as “bivalent” as it is designed to protect against the original strain of COVID-19 as well as the omicron variant.
The newest vaccine is also specifically programmed to target the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, which is the dominant variant infecting people as well as the most adept at sneaking around the immune system. More than 90% of cases are caused by the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, according to health officials.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects Omicron-specific boosters for children younger than 12 will be ready shortly after boosters for adults become available.
These guidelines are different from the spring semester, when, during what appeared to be the annual surge in COVID cases along with cold and flu season, students who were eligible were required to get their boosters to return to campus.
Director of Communications for the university, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, clarified the latest policies in place regarding boosters. “While it’s required that all students receive their full initial COVID-19 vaccine series to come to campus, New York State does not require COVID-19 boosters for students this semester,” Carleo-Evangelist said. “That could change in the future depending on public health concerns, but as of right now students are not required to have received a booster.”
UAlbany is not running its own vaccine clinic currently, as the university did in the spring 2021 semester.
“As the vaccines became widely available at just about every local pharmacy, and as students were soon required to be vaccinated before coming to campus, it was no longer necessary for the university to run its own clinics,” Carleo-Evangelist said.
While COVID-19 vaccinations have been free to all Americans since the time of their release, the federal government has recently announced its plan to stop covering the cost of the vaccines.
“It’s too late to speculate how the vaccine transition will occur. The federal government is still working with state officials and the pharmaceutical companies on the transition, and UAlbany will take its direction from the State University of New York and the Albany County Department of Health, as we have since the beginning of the pandemic,” Carleo-Evangelist said.
Over the past two weeks, an estimated 230 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported at UAlbany, according to the SUNY (State University of New York) COVID-19 tracker.