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Booster shots required for students for spring semester

A message to all University of Delaware students

To all UD students:

Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines helped enable a successful fall semester at University of Delaware, with generally low positivity rates and case counts. However, the pandemic continues to affect our community — especially through the recent emergence of the widespread Delta variant and the more-contagious Omicron variant — and research shows that the effectiveness of the initial vaccine doses wanes over time. Additional measures are necessary to continue protecting the health of our entire community in 2022.

Over 90% of our vaccinated students were vaccinated at least six months ago and are eligible for a booster dose to be fully protected before the start of the spring semester. Hence, all eligible students without an existing COVID-19 vaccine exemption are required to be vaccinated with a booster shot by Jan. 24, 2022.

Please note an important change from the fall semester: This requirement for a vaccine booster covers all enrolled students whether they are taking classes on campus, online, or in a blended format. All students have access to campus facilities during the semester, so it is necessary to ensure that all students are fully vaccinated and protected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for everyone age 16 and up. You are eligible for a booster if you received your last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine six or more months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two or more months ago. You can receive any vaccine as your booster; it does not have to be the same vaccine as your original series.

If you are eligible for a vaccine booster — You are required to get a booster dose by Jan. 24, 2022, and submit your updated vaccine card to your UD Health Portal before the start of the spring semester.

If you will not be eligible for a vaccine booster before the deadline of Jan. 24, 2022 — Get your booster shot as soon as you are eligible, depending on the timing of your initial vaccine series. When you have done so, you will need to submit your updated vaccine card to your UD Health Portal within 30 days of your eligibility date.

If you have an approved COVID-19 vaccine exemption — You are not required to get the booster. However, if you are enrolled in on-campus Winter Session courses, you must resume weekly COVID-19 PCR testing at one of the on-campus testing locations beginning Jan. 4. For spring semester, you must resume weekly COVID-19 PCR testing at one of the on-campus locations beginning Feb. 7. Information about student exemption requests is available here.

The vaccines — both initial shots and boosters — are available at many locations close to campus and in communities throughout the nation. Visit udel.edu/coronavirus or vaccines.gov for information about times and locations.

To upload your updated COVID-19 vaccination card after your booster, go to your UD Health Portal to submit an image of your card. For instructions and other information, visit this FAQ list.

The University also encourages all students to get tested for COVID-19 before and after traveling for the holiday break. All travelers boarding a flight from a foreign country to the United States are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than one day before air travel.

The last day for asymptomatic testing on the UD campus before the holiday break will be Monday, Dec. 20. From Jan. 4 through Feb. 3, asymptomatic testing will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon at Harker ISE Lab and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pencader Dining Hall. Information about community testing sites during the holiday break is available from the Delaware Division of Public Health.

For more information about UD’s COVID-19 testing and protocols, please visit udel.edu/coronavirus or email coronavirus@udel.edu.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday break.

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