Georgetown University said it will require people on campus to get a booster shot for COVID-19 by Jan. 21, a sign that some institutions will strengthen the definition of what it means to be fully protected by vaccines.
The university on Tuesday said the requirement applies to all faculty and staff and to students who are enrolled in at least one in-person class.
“Evidence available at this time suggests that vaccines continue to be very effective in preventing severe disease and death due to COVID-19 and all its variants, but that immunity wanes after about six months, and that booster shots can further enhance protection,” the prestigious Washington-based university said.
Federal officials have resisted efforts to expand the definition of fully vaccinated beyond one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. They want to convince more people to come forward without layering on new requirements before they’re in the door.
At the same time, officials strongly encourage the booster shots, citing data that show antibody levels wane over time and a third shot can backfill that response while spurring immune-memory cells that teach the body to combat the virus over the long haul.
Georgetown’s decision could be the start of a trend in which institutions include the booster in their mandates, whether or not the federal government endorses it in its own requirement on agency workers and others.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.