EAST LANSING, Mich. – Students, faculty and staff at Michigan State University will soon be required to receive their COVID-19 booster vaccine.
University officials announced Friday that the school’s coronavirus vaccine mandate is expanding to include booster shots in an effort to reduce virus spread and infections among the campus community. MSU students, faculty and staff who are on campus will be required to receive their booster dose for the spring 2022 semester.
“The high vaccination rate among our students, faculty and staff has been an essential component to what has been a successful fall semester,” university President Samuel Stanley said in a statement Friday. “Combined with our face covering requirement, this has created a safer community for our students, faculty and staff to live, work and learn with fewer cases than the communities around us.”
Individuals with religious or medical exemptions, or students who are online-only, may request an exemption for the booster shot requirement. Those who already have exemptions in place will remain exempt from the booster requirement, officials said.
All U.S. adults are now eligible to receive their COVID booster shots -- a third dose for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients, and a second dose for Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients -- six months after they received their last dose. Booster eligibility was expanded to 16- and 17-year-olds earlier this month.
Related: Should I get a COVID booster now or wait? How does getting vaccinated protect others?
The booster shot is meant to increase the recipient’s protection from contracting COVID, or, at least, from serious illness or hospitalization caused by the virus.
In October, drugmaker Pfizer said that a COVID booster vaccine study found that a third dose restored their vaccine’s efficacy to 95%. The efficacy of the mRNA vaccines has been found to wane over time, as antibodies naturally do.
U.S. health officials on Thursday said that Americans should receive Pfizer’s or Moderna’s COVID vaccine instead of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has been found to cause rare but serious blood clots. A CDC advisory panel made the decision to give preference to the two mRNA vaccines after reviewing new data.
Read more: CDC recommends Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 shots over J&J’s