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11/05/2021 - Caltech Booster Clinic Update

To: The Campus Community 

From: Steve Atlee, Vaccine Working Group Chair and Deputy General Counsel

Earlier this week, I wrote to share that Caltech will host a COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic on Tuesday, November 9 for Caltech undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff members, researchers, and postdocs. All 1,300 appointments for that clinic have now been filled.

I'm heartened by the rapid and enthusiastic response to our efforts to ensure that members of the community are as protected as possible by vaccination. We recognize that the demand for booster shot appointments exceeded what we had capacity for at this initial clinic. In response, Caltech plans to host another booster clinic on campus in collaboration with Vons on December 7. This December date falls more than six months after our last COVID-19 vaccine clinic and thus ensures that all members of our community who were vaccinated on campus last spring would be eligible to receive their booster shot at Caltech. 

As we near the December 7 date, we will send out a dedicated email inviting members of the community to sign up and will update everyone on the eligibility requirements at that time.

In the meantime, however, we would encourage anyone in the community who is currently eligible to receive a booster to explore options for making an appointment at a local pharmacy or with their primary health care provider. As members of the education workforce sector, all active employees and enrolled students who received their final dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccine at least six months ago, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago are eligible to receive a booster. Please note that when showing up to your appointment you may be asked to self-attest to being eligible due to individualized assessment of occupational risk.

While the Institute is not yet requiring booster shots as part of its vaccination requirement for employees and students, it strongly encourages anyone who is eligible for a booster to receive one in accordance with CDC guidelines. According to the CDC, studies have shown that protection against COVID-19 may decrease over time after vaccination. Recent studies also show that a booster shot increases the immune response to the virus and should improve protection against the virus that causes COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation in our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among members of the Caltech community.