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COVID-19 bivalent boosters now offered by CUPHD

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

By: Nathalie Murillo

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department announced on Tuesday they are now offering booster shots for Champaign-County residents. Starting September 12th, bivalent COVID-19 booster shots will be distributed for anyone interested.

Now with the mask mandate no longer being enforced, COVID-19 cases have begun to peak since the start of the semester. Beginning the second week of classes, Chancellor Robert J. Jones sent a follow-up mass mail addressing the high level of COVID-19 cases and asking the campus community to wear their masks. According to Shield Testing Data, there have been 821 newly reported cases of COVID on campus within the last seven days.

The Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC) announced last Thursday they recommend an updated COVID-19 booster shot to combat the Omicron variant. The science behind the booster shows newly added omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the vaccine, in turn, “helping to restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., “strongly encourages” those who are eligible to receive the booster shot.

Students express mixed emotions regarding the new booster shots. Senior Vincente Gonzalo-Alban explains how he would most likely not receive the shot.

“At this point, the mask mandate is off, so it’s not necessary anymore unless you’re at risk,” said Gonzalo-Alban. Meanwhile, other students, like senior Tamara Norman, believe the booster is important and plan on getting it if possible.

“I believe everyone should get at least one booster,” said Norman.

Others looking into getting a new booster shot can find Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Monday through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the CUPHD building at 201 W. Kenyon Road. With supplies being limited, CUPHD officials emphasize that local residents age 65 and older will be prioritized during the first week.

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