Wellness at Penn successfully vaccinated around 1,000 attendees at its COVID-19 booster clinic earlier this month.
The clinic — which was hosted in partnership with Sunray, a local pharmacy — provided COVID-19 boosters to members of the Penn community from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10. Wellness at Penn had previously recommended the new boosters, which are designed to target the current dominant strain of the virus, for all members of the Penn community.
These COVID-19 boosters are the first since the pandemic began to be delivered through the regular commercial market. While the federal government formerly purchased and supplied vaccines, they ceased to do so following the repeal of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency. As a result, clinic attendees had to provide health insurance information at the time of registration to receive the booster at no cost.
Ashlee Halbritter, Wellness at Penn’s Executive Director of Public Health and Well-Being, told The Daily Pennsylvanian that Wellness at Penn expanded vaccination capacity for each day of the clinic due to high demand. She added that two-thirds of recipients were students, and one-third were faculty and staff.
In April, Penn announced that it was lifting its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students, faculty, and staff which had been in place since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. Halbritter praised the Penn community for its "robust" enthusiasm to receive the vaccine despite the requirement no longer being in place.
"I think it is a very good sign and a very good reminder that people on Penn’s campus are very interested in their health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of their peers and their colleagues," Halbritter said.
Halbritter told the DP prior to the clinic that on-campus COVID-19 cases are substantially lower than last year, despite a “slight bump” following fall break. Students also reported a University-wide increase in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the fall semester.