Notre Dame moves COVID-19 booster deadline to Jan. 21, will still hold on-campus booster clinics
Observer Staff Report | Monday, December 6, 2021
This report was updated Dec. 21 at 3:46 p.m.
Notre Dame has moved the deadline for COVID-19 booster verification for all students, faculty and staff members to Jan. 21, according to an email from the University executive officers sent out Tuesday.
The Division of Student Affairs previously announced all Notre Dame students would be required to get a vaccine booster shot before the middle of the spring 2022 semester, but due to rising cases of the Omicron variant, the University is now encouraging campus community members to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster before returning to campus for the spring semester.
This requirement includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students, as well as those studying or conducting research abroad, according to the Dec. 7 email.
As in the spring of 2021, Notre Dame will offer a vaccination clinic. Students will be able to receive Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots at the clinic in the Joyce Center Jan. 11 through Jan. 14, 2022. Students need to register in advance online.
The email also noted students who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 more than six months ago might be able to receive a booster before traveling for winter break or during the break. Indiana has several COVID-19 vaccination sites.
If a student receives the booster outside the vaccine booster clinic they must upload a picture of their vaccine card to their University Health Services patient portal, according to the email. The University’s COVID-19 information website offers instructions for uploading vaccine-pertinent documentation.
Those students who have received exemptions from the vaccine are exempt from the booster requirement, the email said. There is no need to reapply for exemption. Students who do not currently have an exemption but need one should email [email protected].
The email said the Notre Dame community has benefitted from being uniformly and highly vaccinated, which it said was evident through “extremely low case rates” and “low test-positivity” among those who are regularly tested.
Notre Dame has seen 434 positive cases of COVID-19 since Aug. 22, of which 47 are estimated active as of Dec. 20, according to the University’s cases dashboard. Over 40 cases were reported in the week beginning Dec. 12.
“As always, thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to keep yourselves and our community safe,” the email said. “Best wishes for a successful conclusion to the fall semester.”
The University updated the booster requirement Wednesday, Dec. 15 to include the requirement for all faculty and staff, according to an email obtained by the Observer.
The email said the decision was made after consulting with public health officials and campus leaders.
“Booster shots provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19,” the email said. “Recent data suggest the COVID-19 vaccines become less effective over time in preventing infection or milder illness, particularly in the presence of new variants.”
A vaccination clinic for faculty and staff will be held at the University’s Joyce Center Jan. 20. The clinic will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine.
Similar to students who received an exemption, staff members who received an exemption do not have to reapply for a booster vaccine exemption.