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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Eligible AU students can get Pfizer booster shots at Walgreens

University partners with Walgreens to provide Pfizer vaccine booster throughout October

American University has partnered with Walgreens to provide the Pfizer vaccine booster to qualifying AU community members. 

AU community members planning to receive a COVID-19 booster shot through Walgreens, located at 3301 New Mexico Ave. NW, must provide a government-issued ID, health insurance card and their original COVID-19 vaccination card. Members of the community must also complete a consent form for Walgreens. No appointment is necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccine booster shots for certain populations, including those over 65, those at high risk for COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions and those who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission.

According to Dr. David Reitman, the medical director at AU’s Student Health Center, a student eligible for a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot would be somebody who has received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with their second dose occurring at least six months ago. 

According to Fanta Aw, vice president of campus life and inclusive excellence, every member of the AU community will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster shot six months after their second dose.

“Frankly, if you look at the categories, every member of the AU community would be eligible for one of these categories,” Aw said. “Because anyone who’s 65 or older, anyone who may have preexisting conditions would qualify. And then the last category, really because we’re in an environment where we’re a residential campus, and where there’s a lot of interaction.”

Aw also said that students living in residence halls are not at a higher risk for coronavirus infections and strongly encouraged all members of the AU community to get booster shots “when qualified” given the risk of variants and the efficacy of the vaccines. 

AU has arranged for Walgreens to open specifically for community members to receive their COVID-19 booster shot, Aw said.

“People do not have to go to Walgreens, [they are] welcome to go to any of the pharmacies, they just will likely need to check on what their requirements are for getting booster shots,” Aw said.

Zoe Smidt, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs, received her booster shot at Walgreens, but not through AU. Smidt, who works at AU’s library, said she went on the Walgreens website to schedule her appointment.

“[Walgreens] asked for the dates of my first and second shots, my age and then what qualified me, and living in the dorm and working at American I was able to make the appointment,” Smidt said.

Reitman said it was important to emphasize that community members do not need to go to Walgreens to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

“If the hours didn’t work, or were inconvenient, you can go to Walgreens anytime during the day to get it as well as go to any other pharmacy or immunization site,” Reitman said. “There’s lots of availability right now for these vaccines.”

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this past Sunday, Walgreens opened for AU community members, faculty, staff and students, and provided booster shots.

“[Walgreens is] opening specifically to accommodate AU community members to go and get their booster shots,” Aw said. “I thought it was important, now that booster shots are available for Pfizer, that we make sure that we make it as easily accessible as possible.”

Walgreens will also open on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for community members to receive a Pfizer booster shot. No appointment is necessary.

Reitman said that, given the data surrounding the COVID-19 booster shot, it is really only necessary for AU community members to get the booster shot if they fall under one or more of the eligibility categories.

Smidt said having a lot of vaccinated people around her this semester has made her feel safer.

“I know [COVID-19] can be less [transmissible] if somebody who is vaccinated gets it and I’m around them,” Smidt said. “I think just knowing … that everyone at school has to be or most people here are vaccinated, I guess that’s pretty reassuring for me.”

Aw is urging every single member of the AU community to consider getting a booster shot.

“Once Moderna is approved and [Johnson and Johnson] are approved, we will have a similar message, we are strongly recommending that people go and get their booster shots,” Aw said.

The CDC recently expanded the eligibility for booster shots to include individuals who had received the Moderna vaccine at least six months ago.

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