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COVID Booster Shots Available to SLU Community; Plans to Vaccinate Children

November 1, 2021

Dear SLU students, staff and faculty,

We hope you all enjoyed your Fall Break and had some much-needed rest. Seven weeks remain until the end of the fall semester and our COVID-19 campus data just keeps getting better and better. Our infection rates are incredibly low, and, like almost all of last year, our positivity rates have been lower than the St. Louis region, the state of Missouri, and the US for the entire fall semester.  

Nearly all SLU community members are eligible for vaccine booster doses 

St. Louis City public health authorities informed us today that the CDC’s new eligibility criteria permit nearly all University community members to obtain a booster shot. Nonetheless, as part of the state’s vaccination protocol, you will be asked to attest that you meet one of the qualifications noted below. You will not need to provide evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria for a booster dose.

The following summarizes who in our University community we know to be eligible to obtain a booster vaccination:

Booster shots available for all J&J-vaccinated persons

All students, staff and faculty who opted for the single-dose J&J vaccine may get their booster dose two months or more after they were vaccinated. You may receive any COVID-19 vaccine as a booster.

Booster shots available for most other SLU community members, too

Booster doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be administered to our students, staff or faculty who completed their two- or three-dose series at least 6 months ago and are:

Again, St Louis City public health authorities agree that SLU students, staff and faculty, ages 18 and older, qualify for booster shots because we live and/or work in an educational setting.

Mixing and matching booster vaccine types

The CDC has given each of us the agency to decide which type of vaccine — Moderna, Pfizer or J&J — we want for our COVID booster dose. You can get the same type of COVID-19 vaccine you received initially, or you can get a different vaccine type. Please speak with your primary care provider if you are unsure which is best for you. 

You are not required to receive a booster dose in order to be compliant with our COVID-19 vaccination policy at this time.

Plans for vaccinating children

We anticipate that the CDC will soon approve COVID-19 vaccine for young children. As soon as Missouri adds this to its standing orders for vaccination sites, and makes pediatric doses and related supplies available to us, we will offer vaccines to children at our on-campus vaccination clinics. 

Our clinics also will be open to the public, and we plan to partner with some local K-12 schools to offer vaccines to their students. Stay tuned for more information. 

Schedule your booster shot at our weekly vaccine clinics

SLU continues to offer vaccine clinics on campus; you can register for an appointment here. Please bring your vaccination card with you to the appointment, although you can receive your booster dose without it. 

You may also receive your booster dose at any other vaccination site. Missouri’s vaccine navigator site allows you to search by zip code and vaccine brand to find an appointment.

No required Thanksgiving COVID-19 testing

We are not requiring any COVID-19 testing prior to or after Thanksgiving break. 

We have received some questions about the availability of COVID-19 testing for Thanksgiving-related travel. There are multiple options available to you to obtain a COVID test, including at CVS and Walgreens. A full list of free COVID-19 community-based testing clinic options can be found here.

We will continue to offer COVID-19 testing clinics on campus. We have one clinic scheduled for Tuesday, November 23rd from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Simon Recreation Center. You don’t need to register. 

Missouri offers free at-home COVID-19 testing kits for your use. You can register for the free test here. The kit is shipped to your address, instructions are provided for completing the test, and a free FedEx return label is provided to return your saliva sample. Students living on campus may have the test kit shipped to their residence. If you lack transportation, you may bring your boxed and labeled test sample to one of our on-campus testing or vaccination clinics, and we will take it to FedEx for you.   

Keep wearing your mask indoors

Cooler weather is upon us and our students are moving their group studies and socializing indoors where it is critical that they — and we — remain vigilant about face mask use. The St. Louis City Health Department has renewed the City’s mask mandate through the end of November and our campus policy remains in place, as well. Masks must be worn in all public spaces on our St. Louis campuses. 

We have received reports of students and employees gathering together indoors unmasked. We need to do better. Wearing a face mask indoors helps prevent you from getting or spreading COVID to others, even if you are vaccinated and even if you are asymptomatic.

Thanks for all that you do to keep our OneSLU community healthy!

Please stay safe. And be well.

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC
Special Assistant to the President
Director, Institute for Biosecurity
Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
College for Public Health and Social Justice