By Jenna Leydecker ’24, Staff Writer
During winter break, St. John Fisher College officials announced the school will require a COVID-19 booster for all students and employees, and they are receiving varying reactions from the community.
In most recent events, the newest variant of COVID-19, Omicron, has spiked the number of cases in the U.S.
“We continue to be in a very dynamic period, and much has changed since we were last together, due to the Omicron variant and evolving guidance at the federal and state levels. To that end, we have determined that the benefits of the booster are the safest way for us to remain together for the rest of the academic year and we are implementing a booster requirement for all students and employees,”
School officials said in an email that went out on January 5, the community would have until January 24 to get boosted.
A booster for the vaccine is available for those who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months. In 2021, Fisher announced it would require the campus community to be fully vaccinated by August 1 to return to the fall semester.
Since the college has required the booster for staff and students, they are no longer requiring testing for students, though they recommended pre-arrival testing. Masks are also still required in all indoor spaces, and food and drinks are no longer allowed in class environments.
Some students support this saying, the college is taking good steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, some say the college did not give students enough time, or that it does not give students the choice to get the booster.
Alyssa Gara, a Fisher student who commented on the college’s original Instagram post states that she is “sick of the complaining 24/7.” Her comment shared “did you all not just assume this was coming when every other college in the area started doing this weeks ago. I don’t understand the shock.”
Another student, Claire Blauvelt, a sophomore at St. John Fisher College, expressed her concerns about getting the booster. “I have had such bad reactions to the booster and previous vaccines, I may question whether I want to get further vaccines for COVID.” Her main concern was “giving students enough time to decide and more leeway when it comes to deciding to get it.”
“I am glad,” said Professor Dr. Jennna Rossi. ”We want to make sure they [professors] are doing their jobs to the best of their ability for the students.”
She says “it is so important to have learned in person and I really want to make sure the community is protected.” However, she felt that “a short timeline isn’t as helpful for students, faculty, or staff.”