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Penn requires all eligible community members to receive COVID-19 booster vaccine by Jan. 31

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Penn will now require all eligible students, faculty, postdoctoral students, and staff to receive a booster dose of COVID-19 by January 31.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Penn will require all eligible community members to receive a booster dose of COVID-19 by the end of January amid rising positivity rates on campus.

All eligible students, faculty, postdoctoral students, and staff are all eligible students, faculty, postdoctoral students, and staff,” University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutman, Interim Dean Beth Winkelstein, Senior Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, and Chief Health Officer Benoit Dubey wrote in an email to the Pennsylvania community Tuesday afternoon. They should receive a booster shot by January 31st. Those who previously received medical and religious exemptions from the vaccination requirement will not be subject to the new requirements.

Officials wrote that Penn plans to hold additional booster clinics early in the spring after holding the first booster clinic on December 15, 16 and 17 at the Gimbel Gymbell at the Potterc Health and Fitness Center.

This requirement will apply to all community members who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months prior, or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine two months prior, and will include students in online university programs. Officials added that anyone who is not eligible to receive the boost by January 31 must receive it within 30 days of becoming eligible.

Once community members receive booster shots, they must upload documents to the Student Health Portal or Workday platform to fulfill the requirements.

Between December 12 and December 18, 241 community members tested positive for COVID-19 – the largest number of new cases in one week – with a university-wide positivity rate of 2.26%, up from 1.3% in the previous week. .

Nearly half of these new cases were linked to the graduate student community, which had a 2.90% positivity rate, while none were related to classroom or workplace commuting—a trend that has remained consistent throughout the in-person semester.

“Your health and safety remains our top priority, and we are committed to continually changing our public health guidelines based on current data and advice from our colleagues at Penn Medicine, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and state and federal agencies,” the officials wrote. in e-mail.

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