COVID-19 Booster Deadline Extended from January 31 to February 28
Extension Applies to Students, Faculty, and Staff
Dear RIT Community,
Earlier this month, we communicated how an in-person return to class would come with challenges and opportunities. So far, we have met the challenge in the fight against the reality of an evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, RIT family, for stepping up to protect our community. There is reason for guarded optimism at this stage in the pandemic, but we must remain vigilant.
The recent surge of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the role of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts in protecting our community from severe illness. We know transmissibility is reduced when a population is vaccinated and boosted. The FDA has determined the benefits of the booster outweigh any potential risks in all age groups.
The CDC currently recommends a booster for those aged 12 and older. The original one- or two-shot series of COVID-19 vaccines worked well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. However, public health experts are seeing reduced protection against mild and moderate disease over time. It is standard for a vaccine’s protection to wane. A booster dose helps to maximize our protection and prolongs the vaccine’s durability.
Our efforts must extend beyond the RIT campus as we are all part of building collective immunity. We see the news reports that hospitals remain overwhelmed with serious COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages. Routine and semi-elective surgeries are being canceled. Waits in emergency departments are long for all patients, including those with COVID-19 infection or other illnesses and/or trauma. We must do what we can to lessen the burden on health care workers and our hospitals, which includes getting boosted.
Research has not shown how long you are protected from reinfection after recovering from COVID-19. However, evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated and boosted than having COVID-19 as their only defense. In other words, vaccination and boosters provide an additional layer of protection even if you’ve already had COVID-19.
While most of the campus community has gotten the booster, we will extend the booster requirement deadline from January 31 to February 28 to ensure that the rest of the RIT community has the time to meet the booster requirements. Those who become eligible beginning March 1 will have 14 days from their eligibility date to comply. Students should upload their booster information to the Wellness Portal. Employees should upload their information into Oracle Employee Self-Service or directly through the dedicated booster vaccination webpage.
If you cannot attend an upcoming campus booster clinic, vaccination site resources are available to help you locate COVID-19 vaccine options in the area. We are fortunate to reside in an area where booster shots are readily available.
Together, we are working to create a vibrant in-person community that offers a full range of opportunities to learn and grow. Getting a booster is an important step in protecting yourself, your family, and our community.
Let us use every available tool to control this virus.
David Munson, President
Wendy Gelbard, MD, Associate Vice President, Wellness