On November 2 and 3, Mid Coast–Parkview Health will host a clinic for the Pfizer bivalent Covid-19 booster in Farley Field House. The clinic will be open to students, faculty, staff and the local community from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will have no associated cost. The announcement of the clinic last Friday follows Bowdoin Health Services messaging encouraging students to receive the most recent booster and the influenza vaccine, neither of which are required by the College as they were the last two years.
The Health Center offered flu shot clinics on Dudley Coe Quad and in Smith Union on September 28 and 29 and on October 5 and 12. As a result, over 1000 students have been vaccinated against the flu by Health Services this fall. Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes is pleased by how many vaccines have been administered this early into ‘flu season,’ but she still encourages students to get the shot as soon as possible as there are already cases of influenza on campus.
“The higher [the vaccination rate], the better the herd immunity. So [with] an 80 percent [vaccination rate], you get some herd immunity,” Hayes said. “People say ‘I got the flu shot but I still got the flu.’ Just like the Covid booster, it lessens the severity of the disease. Less missed school, less feeling really crummy.”
The Covid Planning Group also recommends all students receive the bivalent Covid booster as soon as possible to both increase herd immunity and lessen the severity of the disease upon infection.
“In addition to providing protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death, vaccinations continue to play a vital role in reducing the transmission of the virus,” the Covid Planning Group wrote in an October 21 email to the campus community. “The new Pfizer and Moderna booster shots specifically target the most prevalent, highly contagious Omicron subvariants (BA.4 and BA.5) of SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Students can schedule individual appointments with Health Services to receive a flu shot. To participate in the Covid booster clinic at Farley Field House, students must sign up for a slot through Mid Coast–Parkview Health.