WSU now offering COVID-19 booster shot


Mohammed Islam

Archived photo of a student from last fall. Winona State University is now offering the COVID-19 booster shot. A pediatrician at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Joe Novak, said college students should “absolutely” get vaccinated.

Erich Schweitzer, News Reporter

Winona State University is now offering COVID-19 booster shots for students and staff members who have received their COVID vaccinations. The boosters are available to any vaccinated individual over the age of 18, and it is highly recommended that people get the booster if they have already had the initial vaccine.

The booster shots are especially recommended for anyone who is at risk of contracting COVID. This could include having underlying medical issues or working in settings where there is a high risk of spreading the virus. According to Winona State Health and Wellness Services, if you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you should wait to get the booster until six months after your second dose.

Dr. Joe Novak, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic, said that getting the booster would be beneficial for building up antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. He said it would be especially beneficial “for those who are immuno-compromised.” People who have problems with their immune system are some of the most high-risk individuals for contracting the virus. This could include people with “auto-immune diseases, cancers or any sort of genetic disorders as well.”

However, this does not mean that only sick people should get this booster. There are some people who can’t get the vaccine, such as children who are too young to receive it. While this is a college campus, students could be spreading it to younger siblings when they go home or staff members to their children. Dr. Novak would go on to say that, “The concept of herd immunity is a really important thing,” which means getting everyone vaccinated so to prevent the spread.

When asked if it was important that college students get the booster after they’ve had the vaccine, Dr. Novak said “absolutely.” With everyone back on campus, gathering in classrooms and people sharing rooms with roommates, Dr. Novak said that “Those are areas where any sort of infections can spread really fast.” It’s also become an increased problem with the closure of West Campus and forcing some students to share rooms now that there is less space.

Winona State has taken other steps to try and combat the spread of COVID. The university is still enforcing weekly testing on individuals who have not been vaccinated yet or who refuse to get vaccinated. As for vaccinated individuals, Winona State urges them to report their vaccination status or submit to the weekly testing as well.

Winona State also offers COVID-19 vaccines in the Health Services Clinic in the Integrated Wellness Center.