As Maine hospitals struggle with full ICUs and the state repeatedly breaks its own COVID-19 records, one college is taking a major step to keep students healthy.
Bowdoin College in Brunswick will require roughly 3,000 eligible students, faculty and staff returning to campus for the spring semester to receive their COVID-19 booster shot by Jan. 21.
The decision to mandate the additional vaccine doses was made after the U.S. CDC recommended boosters for all adults and upon the advice of medical experts Bowdoin administration has been in regular contact with throughout the pandemic, according to the school’s senior vice president for finance and administration.
“We’ve reached out to a handful of public health experts and infectious disease experts to get their opinion and their overwhelming consensus was we should require the boosters,” Matthew Orlando said.
Orlando added that Bowdoin’s policy is not modeled on another institutions'.
The school will also compensate for high demand for booster shots at offsite pharmacies by offering its own on-campus booster clinics.
“We wanted to make it as convenient as possible, so we’re running a clinic next week and we’ll do another clinic the week of Jan. 17,” he said, adding that the school hopes to replicate the success it has had with requiring COVID-19 vaccination for the Fall 2021 semester.
“We’ve had 88 positive cases for our students, all of them were vaccinated -- in all 88 cases, not a single person was hospitalized, they were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic,” Orlando said.