University requires COVID-19 booster shots

Health+care+worker+fills+up+syringes+with+the+Covid-19+vaccine+on+Nov.+6.+The+university+is+now+requiring+staff+and+students+to+receive+the+Covid-19+booster+when+eligible.+

Cameron Krasucki

Health care worker fills up syringes with the Covid-19 vaccine on Nov. 6. The university is now requiring staff and students to receive the Covid-19 booster when eligible.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, News Editor

In a Massmail sent Thursday, the University of Illinois System announced the requirement that all faculty, staff and students get a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible.

The Massmail cites increases in COVID-19 cases, evolving information about the transmissive Omicron variant and new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance as reasons for the requirement.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state of Illinois has 947 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant as of Wednesday.

“There is now significant evidence that vaccinations plus boosters are effective at preventing infections from developing into serious illness,” said UI System President Tim Killeen in the Massmail.

However, those who have already received exemptions from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons will also be exempted for the booster requirement.

“Throughout the pandemic we have worked diligently to keep our universities and their surrounding communities safe,” Killeen said in the Massmail. “Now, in the face of this new variant, we must again act collectively to protect both the health and safety of our communities and the quality of the educational experience that makes the U of I System truly extraordinary.”

The CDC  recommends that adults 18 years and older who have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine should get the booster.

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