All students, faculty, staff required to have COVID-19 booster by next semester

by Catlan Nguyen, Editor in Chief

The California State University system announced at the end of December that all students, faculty, staff and auxiliary employees, across its 23 campuses, including San Diego State University, will be required to get the COVID-19 booster to access campus facilities for the spring 2022.

This expands on an earlier requirement stating only residential students and student athletes must get the booster shot before next semester, which was met with mixed feelings from the SDSU community. All students, faculty and staff must upload their booster records to HealtheConnect by Jan. 18, 2022, according to a university email.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated for six months after their final dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or for two months after receiving the only dose of a single-dose vaccine. 

If you completed your two-dose vaccine more than six months before Jan. 18, 2022, or your single-dose vaccine more than two months before Jan. 18, 2022, you will no longer be considered fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions.

These individuals will need to get a booster. 

If you are 18 years and older, individuals should wait at least six months to receive booster shots of Moderna or Pfizer or at least two months to receive the Johnson and Johnson booster shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A student is considered vaccinated but not yet eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot if they got two shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer series less than 6 months prior to Jan. 18, or have received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine less than 2 months prior to Jan. 18. These students will not be entered into the testing protocol until they are eligible for a booster, according to the university email. 

Faculty and staff who do not get a booster will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test on file with SDSU at least every fourteen days.

Several universities including Harvard, all the campuses in the University of California system have announced their first several weeks of spring semester may be online to allow students to complete COVID-19 testing protocols.

The announcement from the UC President Michael V. Drake said the length of remote instruction may vary between campuses. 

The CSU Chancellor has made no announcements about online classes as of Dec. 26. 

To incentivize students, faculty and staff to get the booster SDSU is offering a variety of prizes. 

Every student who uploads their booster shot to their record before Jan. 3 will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card. Each student who uploads their record before Jan. 17 will be eligible to win prizes including an iPad, $250 Bookstore gift card, $50 Bookstore gift card and $50 Aztec Dining gift card.

All employees who upload their booster record by Jan. 3 will be eligible to win one of five $100 gift cards each day between Dec. 22 and Jan. 3. Employees who upload by Jan. 17 will be eligible to receive special university parking permits, two Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre concerts tickets, two men’s or women’s basketball tickets and a private tour of the SDSU Mission Valley site.

Katelynn Robinson contributed to the reporting in this article.