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Joyce Nunez (right) administers the Pfizer/BioNTech booster vaccine to Penn Dental Medicine third year Alethia Li at Penn's booster clinic at the Gimbel Gymnasium on Dec. 15, 2021. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn will host four COVID-19 booster vaccine clinics during the first week of the spring semester, on Jan. 14, 17, 18, and 19, in Pottruck Health and Fitness Center’s Gimbel Gymnasium.

The University will partner with SunRay Drugs, a local pharmacy, to offer the COVID-19 booster vaccine to all students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral students, who can register through SunRay’s scheduling platform. Unlike previous University-sponsored vaccine clinics, children at least 12 years old — alongside a parent — and spouses are also able to receive their shots from Penn’s clinics, according to Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé.

Penn is requiring all eligible community members to receive the COVID-19 booster shot by Jan. 31. Those who are not eligible to receive the booster vaccine by the end of January must receive the shot within 30 days of becoming eligible.

“Students, faculty, staff, and postdocs are encouraged to avail themselves of this opportunity,” Dubé told The Daily Pennsylvanian. 

The clinic will be held in Gimbel Gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each of the four days. Penn community members are instructed to use Pottruck’s rear entrance at 3720 Sansom St. for their appointment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their COVID-19 booster eligibility guidance on Jan. 7 to include all adults who received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least five months ago, lowered from a previous guidance of six months. Adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are recommended to wait two months after receiving the initial vaccine before getting a booster.

Penn’s January booster clinic will mark the second time the University will organize a clinic specifically to administer COVID-19 booster shots, following the first booster clinic in December 2021, which was also held in Gimbel. 

Director of Campus Health Ashlee Halbritter told the DP on Dec. 7 that picking Gimbel as the booster clinic site was an easy decision, given its record of success with vaccine clinics and the fact that it is also accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A number of peer institutions are also holding vaccine booster clinics during January. Dartmouth College completed a two-day clinic on Jan. 11, which vaccinated approximately 700 community members. The University of Michigan has already hosted three of seven planned booster clinics for students scheduled throughout the end of the month.