c/o Caleb Henning, Financial Manager

c/o Caleb Henning, Financial Manager

The University and the Community Health Center in Middletown hosted an on-campus clinic for students to receive COVID-19 bivalent vaccinations on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Over 100 students received their bivalent booster shot at the clinic, while over 1,000 students booked appointments to receive flu vaccinations at University clinics during October. Vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna were offered at the clinic.

“The COVID situation on campus appears to be very stable at present,” Medical Director Dr. Tom McLarney wrote in an email to The Argus. “We did have a spike in cases shortly after arrival to campus and now we are having a few sporadic cases. Students are being very diligent with testing…reporting and adherence to our current isolation protocols.”

The COVID-19 booster clinic comes as the University has reintroduced the COVID-19 dashboard, which records the number of self-reported cases of COVID-19 among students and employees. As of Monday, Oct. 31, there is one active case of COVID-19 on campus, adding to a total of 219 student and employee cases over the course of the semester.

Although many COVID-19 cases on campus have been mild, McLarney stressed the importance of being up-to-date on vaccinations, as the initial COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are less effective against the currently dominant Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants.

“This is a great time to get the bivalent COVID-19 booster (as well as the flu shot),” McLarney wrote. “As you know, the late fall and winter (when we all spend more time indoors) is when most viral infections occur. If one gets immunized now, their immune system will be primed to give the best protection during the fall-winter time frame.”

This is not the first time the Community Health Center has run clinics at Wesleyan. In addition to the COVID-19 booster clinic, it also ran the COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the spring of 2021 and provided access to the monkeypox vaccine.

“We are fortunate to have the Community Health Center here in Middletown,” McLarney wrote. “They have been extremely supportive of our efforts to keep our students [healthy] and making vaccinations more accessible…. They are such a valuable resource to the Wesleyan Community.”

Students who attended the clinic expressed various reasons for receiving the Bivalent booster, from close personal brushes with COVID-19 to familial and community safety.

“I’ve always felt like it was important to get vaccinated just as soon as I could,” Nathan Hausspiegel ’24 said. “Specifically, this semester, early on, one of my friends got COVID and it was kind of a scare. I think after that, it was on my radar a little bit more and this specific clinic just made it convenient enough so I could do it in the middle of my day, because I don’t have a car on campus.”

While the bivalent booster is not currently required for students, the Pandemic Planning Committee will continue to follow data on the vaccine as it emerges.

The pandemic planning committee will continue to monitor the data about the efficacy of the new booster at preventing illness and transmission,” Dean of Students Rick Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus. For now we believe encouraging those who are due to get an additional booster is an important next step at reducing COVID risk on campus.”


Caleb Henning contributed to reporting and can be reached at chenning@wesleyan.edu.

Elias Mansell can be reached at emansell@wesleyan.edu.

Rose Chen can be reached at rchen@wesleyan.edu.

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