The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Friday, Nov. 19 that adults 18 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster shot. While most Long Beach State students taking in-person classes are vaccinated, few have received the booster vaccine or plan on getting it soon.
The recent booster shot authorization endorsed by CDC director, Rochelle P. Waleknsky was extended to adults who are fully vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer “at least six months after their second dose,” according to the CDC.
Further, the CDC recommends that Johnson and Johnson vaccine recipients to get their booster shot two months after their first and only dose.
For students with underlying health conditions, like fourth-year public relations major, Sophia Isma, this recommendation was “a sense of relief.”
“I decided to get vaccinated because I’m a type one diabetic, thus making me autoimmune,” she said.
Isma is fully vaccinated against COVID but still plans on getting her booster shot before the end of the year.
All CSULB students with in-person classes are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
On Oct. 29, the Division of Student Affairs reported in an email that 97.7 percent of students have submitted their vaccine certification.
Mia Fleming, a third-year dance major, said returning to in-person classes on campus full of mostly vaccinated individuals was still nerve-wracking.
“It’s scary [because] it’s possible to still get [COVID] even though we’re all wearing masks and are vaccinated,” she said.
While some of Fleming’s classes are still online, her dance technique classes are in-person this semester.
It’s been six months since Fleming received her second dose of the Moderna vaccine and said she plans on getting her booster shot, potentially at CSULB, as soon as it’s offered. She also believes “all those who are eligible should get their booster shot.”
“Based on what the scientists are saying, I think that it’s important that we all get the booster,” she said.
Andres Leon, a fourth-year public relations major, plans on getting his booster shot next year.
“If it became a requirement to receive a booster shot, then I would most likely get vaccinated,” he said. “I’m not opposed, I’m just indifferent.”
Before Leon became fully vaccinated this past May, he worked in the retail industry with unmasked coworkers. He received the Moderna vaccine in order to protect his grandparents, who he lived with at the time.
“I decided to get vaccinated because my grandparents are immunocompromised from diabetes and other health ailments,” he said. “I had been working overnight shifts with my coworkers who did not wear masks, putting me in a tough situation.”
Leon said he is open to the idea of getting his booster, but not until it’s recommended for the average individual.
“Last I heard, the booster shot was for people who are at higher risk,” he said. “I also no longer live with my grandparents, so I don’t carry the guilt of possibly infecting them with the disease.”
The booster shot is meant to decrease the spread within vulnerable communities, which is why Andrew Garcia, a third-year communications major and public relations minor, plans on getting his.
Garcia is following the advice of his sister, who is a registered nurse on the front lines also encouraged their family to get vaccinated.
“We’re all people of science, and we believe in the motto that we would rather have some protection than none at all,” he said. “We know the vaccine doesn’t guarantee 100% protection. However, we still would rather have some protection at least.”
The Student Health Center administers the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the University Bookstore. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they only offer Pfizer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“People have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fleming said. “I think we all need to do our part and do what we can to protect ourselves.”
To make an appointment for the COVID-19 booster shot, visit myturn.ca.gov.