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Harvard joins other local schools to require boosters; says omicron has likely breached Yard walls

Harvard officials today notified students and staff that the school will require them to show proof of a Covid-19 booster for the spring semester.

However, unlike other schools, which began announcing booster requirements, Harvard did not set a specific deadline for the shots, but said it would do so in early January. In the meantime, though, President Lawrence Bacow and other officials urged students and staff who are eligible for boosters to get them as soon as possible, not for the school's sake, but for their own protection.

In their e-mail, the officials added:

Our preliminary analysis indicates the Omicron variant is likely already present in COVID-19 cases we are seeing on campus. Individuals are not routinely notified of their variant status because public health guidelines are the same regardless of the variant involved.

Knowing that the Omicron variant is likely present among our community members should inform your behavior. It is critical that you take steps to reduce your risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 by masking, minimizing contact, distancing, and testing.

Boston public-health officials just yesterday announced the first confirmed cases of the omicron variant in Boston residents.

Because the pandemic continues to exist, Harvard added it will be extending its Covid-19-related work rules through April 1. Among other things, these let workers go over their allotted sick-leave time by up to 14 days - and 10 days of "dependent well care" to care for children or other dependents whose schooling or care have been disrupted due to the pandemic.

Earlier:
Area colleges showing rise in Covid-19 cases, although still at levels below surrounding communities.

Neighborhoods: 
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Comments

It's also time to stop calling people with JJ shots "vaccinated". I dont know of there is statistics like that but it makes sense that young college students opted for JJ as a group.

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Notfromboston, M.D. Ph.D.

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Get back to me when you finally get a memo. NAD but I can explain it to you.

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"get a memo"? Am I talking to Eliza?

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Difficult to get third shot now. I registered twice with CVS and got an email the next day saying they were canceling it with no explanation. So I walked in and pharmacist said they were not allowed to help me to make an appointment and said they were all out of Pfizer but Moderna would be available last week of Dec. So I called my primary care at MGH and was told they are filled to capacity but to try Walgreens. No wonder people don't want to bother. I'll just wash my mask and pray.

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Try an independent pharmacy. After negotiating the CVS gauntlet for my wife's shot, a tip from my primary doctor's office led me to call a local independent pharmacy when my daughter needed a booster. They gave her an appointment 2 days later, with no messaging-system or online hassle. Try calling around.

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https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/ and look for the pharmacies you didn't even know existed, which are generally going to be less swamped than the big chains. You can also find clinics and other options that way.

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I was originally going to go to Shaw's in West Roxbury at the end of the month, but after a little legwork, I got mine at CVS yesterday at 2:15pm. They actually took me early and I was out of there at 2:30pm. (I'm feeling the effects of the vaccine now - my arm is sore, my muscles ache, I got a slight fever and chills a couple of hours ago, but thanks to Tylenol and a cup of tea I'm hanging in there. Thankfully, it's nowhere close to the COVID I got three months ago!)

The amount of skyrocketing cases in Massachusetts and the US is the reason why people are scrambling (panicking?) to get boosters now - people want to avoid the Omicron variant and be able to celebrate Christmas and New Years with their families.

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before the news of Omicron broke. Then suddenly everyone is all "wow, look at the calendar, better get around to that now!"

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I had already had COVID in September, so the conventional wisdom was that I had to wait three months until December to get my booster shot. Once the news came out about Omicron, I figured it was just easier to get it over with.

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Who told you that? If it was a requirement, it isn't now. The most conservative advice we got after my daughter's recent infection was that she had to wait two weeks after her quarantine ended, and be symptom-free, before she could get the booster. Our doctor's office said they were no longer requiring any waiting period, so long as the patient was symptom-free after completing a quarantine.

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I actually could have had my booster in October (which would have been the six months after I got my second shot in April), but the CDC suggested (required?) those who had COVID to wait 90 days to get their booster shots. When I discussed this with the attending doctor while I was hospitalized, they had recommended I wait for the booster until December (and my PCP concurred when I discussed this with him after I was discharged).

When I met up with my PCP in November, the Omicron variant had just reached the US and was on the rise, so the CDC had relaxed the booster requirements. Originally I was to get my booster on the 27th, but I got it on the 16th instead.

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