Get your COVID-19 bivalent booster on campus

Student gets a COVID-19 booster vaccine

Last updated: Oct. 7, 2022

Updated COVID-19 boosters are now available to students, faculty, staff and their dependents ages 18 and up at the University Health Center Pharmacy.

You must schedule an appointment with the pharmacy by calling 402.472.7457. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Parental permission is required for minors to receive their vaccination. If you are 18, you must bring a completed Power of Attorney form with you; if you already have a form on file with the health center, you do not need to bring another copy. If you are 17 or younger or unable to complete a Power of Attorney form, we are unable to provide vaccination

The updated booster dose is bivalent – meaning it offers protection against the latest omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, plus the original COVID-19 strain. These strains currently account for most COVID-19 cases in the United States. A booster that protects against these later variants should slow the spread of COVID-19 this fall.

Who can get an updated (bivalent) booster?

It doesn’t matter how many doses or boosters you’ve had. As long as you’ve completed a primary COVID-19 series (two doses of Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax or one dose of Johnson & Johnson), you can get one bivalent booster. It should be two months or longer after your last COVID-19 vaccine or booster to get your bivalent booster.

Can I get the updated bivalent booster with the flu shot? Yes.

For the best protection, get both the updated COVID-19 booster and the flu shot this fall. Like last year, you can get the COVID-19 booster the same day as your flu shot. However, COVID-19 boosters are only available in the pharmacy and flu shots are only available in the medical clinic by appointment or at student drop-in clinics.

Are the boosters safe? Available evidence says yes.

Over 262 million people in the U.S. have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and studied since early 2020. Worldwide, over 2 billion doses of these vaccines have been given since late 2020. 

The data we have on the bivalent BA.4/BA.5 fall boosters is from studies of human serum and mice. Because they are slight variations on the previous monovalent mRNA vaccines (for which we have large amounts of safety data), the FDA has determined that we do not need extensive human clinical trials to ensure safety. This is the same process we follow for the influenza (flu) vaccine every year. The flu vaccine is updated yearly based on which strains are likely to be the most widespread. After the platform is thoroughly tested in human clinical trials for initial product approval, the flu shot variant is updated each year. The annual flu vaccine updates do not require additional human testing. If we did wait for human testing each year, we would not get protection from the vaccines while the flu spreads unchecked.

The FDA and CDC authorized the same approach for the COVID-19 updated booster. The COVID-19 vaccine platform remains the same, but the specific code is updated to match variants BA.4 and BA.5.

Should I get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19? Yes.

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended if you’ve had COVID-19. During omicron, reinfections increased. Reinfections have increased even more with BA.5. Studies show that the best protection against reinfection, hospitalization, and death comes from previous infection and up-to-date vaccination.

If you’ve recently had COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and most experts recommend a dose of vaccine one to four weeks after resolution of symptoms (if you are eligible).