“Come one, come all”—BU students, faculty, staff eligible for walk-in or by-appointment COVID vaccinations at FitRec
Boston University publishes its COVID-19 testing data on a public-facing dashboard. Gloria Waters, BU vice president and associate provost for research, and Judy Platt, director of BU Student Health Services, provide a weekly update on the overall health of the BU community.
Between April 28 and May 4, 17 students and 8 faculty and staff tested positive for coronavirus at Boston University. The Brink asked Judy Platt to answer a few key questions on COVID-19 at BU.
With Judy Platt
The Brink: BU began offering Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to faculty, staff, and students this week, through the University’s FitRec vaccination site. How is the rollout going?
Platt: We have an ample supply of Moderna vaccines, and we want to get these vaccines used. Come one, come all—signing up for a vaccine is as easy as signing up for a COVID test at BU, and we’re now accepting walk-ins, as well. No appointment is necessary—any BU student, faculty, or staff member can just arrive at the FitRec vaccination site, show their green badge that says they’re up to date with their COVID testing and daily symptom attestation, and we’ll set them up to get vaccinated right away. You can come in for your first dose of Moderna, or you can come in for your second dose, as long as you received your first dose 24 or more days ago.
For people who got their first dose from another vaccination site, but are interested in getting their second dose at BU, is the process to sign up any different?
It’s no different. You can sign up online or you can walk in to the FitRec vaccination site during clinic hours [9 am to 4 pm].
The Moderna doses are administered at least 24—but ideally 28—days apart. How should students who receive their first dose at the BU clinic plan on getting their second dose? With the semester ending, what if the students won’t be local when it’s time for their second dose?
Students returning home anywhere in the United States will easily be able to sign up for a second dose of Moderna at another location. If you go to the CVS website, or use the CDC’s vaccine finder, you can opt to sign up for either your first or second dose at other locations. It’s pretty seamless to get your second dose elsewhere. For BU’s international students, they will be allowed to remain on campus so that they can receive their second dose from BU.
With finals beginning, are students and faculty concerned about dealing with side effects of the vaccine?
People may be putting off getting their vaccine this week because they feel like they have so many other things going on. But I encourage people to stop and take that moment for themselves. Don’t push it off until next week. For the first dose of the vaccine, any side effects are usually very mild anyway. And for students who think, “I already had coronavirus, I have natural antibodies”—know that infection with COVID does not impart long-lasting or especially high numbers of antibodies. Vaccination will offer you much greater and longer-lasting protection.
Anything else you’d like the community to know this week?
Through variant sequencing, we’re continuing to see the presence of the B.1.1.7 variant and small numbers of the P.1 variant, as well. This is another reason not to put off getting vaccinated—don’t wait to get infected with a variant. Get your vaccine now.
Judy Platt, chair of BU’s Medical Advisory Group, oversees clinical management and isolation of students and employees who test positive for coronavirus, and helps manage BU’s contact tracing efforts. She is a cochair of BU’s Vaccine Preparedness Group.