Northwestern announces COVID-19 booster shot requirement


Daily file illustration by Hank Yang

While the city’s moving average positivity rate is declining after reaching its highest — more than 10% Monday — there were more positive cases seen this week. The IDPH has also updated its quarantine and isolation guidelines and announced the availability of two COVID-19 antiviral medications in the state by the end of the month.

Isabelle Sarraf, Editor in Chief

Northwestern announced Monday it will require students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot.

The announcement comes as the University’s COVID-19 case count is at an all-time high. Community members must receive their booster by Jan. 30, 2022 or 30 days after becoming eligible, whichever is later. Winter Quarter classes will be hosted remotely until Jan. 18 as the University assesses the spread of the omicron variant. Allowed activities and exceptions during the wellness period can be found on the COVID-19 and Campus Updates page.

Northwestern’s COVID-19 positivity rate more than doubled last week as many undergraduates departed Evanston for Winter Break. The University reported 476 positive cases from Dec. 13 to 19, a jump from last week’s 205. Campus activity level is now designated “orange,” which is triggered by high levels of transmission on campus or multiple clusters of positive cases. 

Other peer institutions have also mandated booster shots amid a surge of COVID-19 cases, including Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, Boston University and New York University.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, anyone ages 18 or older is eligible for a booster shot if they completed their primary Moderna or Pfizer vaccination series at least six months ago. Those who received their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago are also eligible. Administrators strongly encouraged mRNA boosters (Moderna and Pfizer), and only those approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

CDC guidelines allow adults to “mix-and-match” doses, allowing individuals to receive a booster shot from a manufacturer different from that of their primary vaccination series.

To get a booster shot over the Winter Break, students and residents can schedule an appointment with their primary care physician or online with a retail pharmacy:
— Albertsons Companies (including Jewel OscoSafeway and Randalls)
— Walgreens
— Walmart
— Costco
— Kroger

Community members can also use to find other locations offering COVID-19 booster shots near them.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @isabellesarraf

Related Stories:
Northwestern reports 205 COVID-19 cases this week
Northwestern to allow some remote class dates in winter
Northwestern announces winter COVID-19 entrance testing requirements