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The Scarlet & Black

College holds COVID-19 booster shot clinic as Omicron fears rise

Graphic by Hannah Agpoon.

All Grinnell students and staff 18 years and older who received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine six months ago or more are now eligible for a booster shot of the vaccine, according to guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The College will be partnering with Hy-Vee to run a booster clinic at the Harris Center on Friday, Dec. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. Registration for the clinic is required and will close Monday, Dec. 6. Walk-ins will not be permitted.

Doses are also available for walk-in appointments at Hy-Vee and Walmart. Some students and staff at the College have already received their booster shots. Some students experienced similar or lesser symptoms than they did when they received their initial doses of the vaccine, while some experienced no side effects at all.

Booster shots may be of a different vaccine brand than the original set of doses. Anyone can get vaccinated at the College clinic, which will use Pfizer vaccines, the same as were used at the initial clinic in the spring of 2021. Walmart offers Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer booster shots, as well as the children’s Pfizer vaccine. SHAW will provide free transportation to either off-campus vaccination site Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The College has asked that students resubmit their vaccine cards through their student health portal once they have received their booster shot.

Micah Cantor `24 received his booster shot last Wednesday. He didn’t schedule ahead, instead going to Walmart for a walk-in and was able to receive his dose there. He said he didn’t experience any symptoms other than a sore arm. His advice for anyone who wants to get vaccinated? “Just go, it’s very easy.”

COVID-19 cases remain prevalent in Poweshiek County. The number of hospitalized patients in Poweshiek County is up by 27 percent in the past 14 days. The test positivity rate is 12 percent. CDC data has shown that the vaccine is highly effective at reducing transmission and preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.

On Nov. 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified a new Sars-CoV-2 variant called Omicron. On Dec. 1, the first U.S. case of the variant was identified in California. The CDC cautions people eligible for the booster shot to get one or begin a vaccination series if unvaccinated.

Due to global health officials’ concerns over the variant, some countries have instituted stringent travel restrictions for non-citizens of those countries. In addition, US citizens traveling abroad will now have to show a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of returning to the US.

The CDC states that getting the booster is the most important thing people can do to protect themselves from the virus, and the definition of “fully vaccinated” has changed to include the booster dose (rather than just the first two doses).

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Millie Peck, Opinions Editor
Millie is a fourth-year English and psychology double major. Despite stewing on a witty bio for the better half of a year, she has failed to think of anything good, so will instead just lean into the fact that she is living the liberal arts dream: sharing a rainbow polka-dot house with seven roommates and a cat.  
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