COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Bivalent Booster

Is it required that I receive a bivalent COVID-19 booster?

Bates College strongly recommends that all students receive the bivalent booster authorized on September 2, 2022 as soon as possible.

The CDC released updated COVID-19 vaccination guidelines on September 2, 2022 recommending all individuals receive the COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine. The bivalent vaccine is the vaccine produced based on the original (ancestral) strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4/BA.5) variants of SARS-CoV-2. For most students, the bivalent booster will be a booster in addition to the proof of full vaccination and booster dose required to attend Bates College.

Note: All students are required to provide proof of full vaccination and receipt of a recommended booster dose against COVID-19. The only exception to this requirement is the existence of a medical contraindication for receiving a vaccine as certified by a qualified healthcare provider and approved by the Medical Director of Bates Health Services.

When will I become eligible for my bivalent booster?

Most individuals are recommended to receive a bivalent vaccine 2 months after their most recent COVID-19 vaccine dose.  

I’ve already gotten my bivalent booster. What’s my next step?

Keep your COVID-19 vaccine card with your booster information in a safe place.

I have not yet gotten my bivalent booster. What’s my next step?

As of September 12, 2022, appointments are available at local pharmacies. You can search for and schedule available appointments using this website. Walgreens at 430 Sabattus Street is within walking distance to campus.

We highly recommend that you receive a booster as soon as you are eligible.

Keep your COVID-19 vaccine card with your booster information.

Is there help with transportation to my bivalent vaccine appointment?

Students can schedule transportation to a local vaccine appointment in Lewiston/Auburn using the Bobcat Express reservation form

I recently tested positive for COVID-19, when can I get my bivalent booster?

The CDC recommends receiving a booster dose 3 months after positive test.

What if I have additional questions about the COVID-19 bivalent booster?

Read more here about the COVID-19 booster. Questions about eligibility and scheduling an appointment for a bivalent vaccine can be directed to Brenna Callahan at healthservices@bates.edu.

Primary Series and Booster Requirement

What is the COVID-19 vaccination requirements?

All students are required to provide proof of full vaccination and receipt of a recommended booster dose against COVID-19. The only exception to this requirement is the existence of a medical contraindication for receiving a vaccine as certified by a qualified healthcare provider and approved by the Medical Director of Bates Health Services. Additionally, if further booster doses are recommended by public health guidance and Bates updates its vaccination requirements for enrollment, students will be required to provide proof of receipt of further booster doses in accordance with these requirements.

Bates College strongly recommends that all students receive the bivalent booster authorized on September 2, 2022 as soon as possible.

The CDC released updated COVID-19 vaccination guidelines on September 2, 2022 recommending all individuals receive the COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine. The bivalent vaccine is the vaccine produced based on the original (ancestral) strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4/BA.5) variants of SARS-CoV-2.

What if I come to campus without my COVID-19 booster?

If you are eligible and have not received a booster, you will be required to get a booster shot at a local pharmacy.

Students who choose not to get the COVID-19 booster once eligible will be unenrolled from courses and placed on a leave of absence. In addition, as this is a violation of the Public Health Agreement, such students will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee.

What if I’m not yet eligible for a booster?

Students who are not yet be eligible for a booster before Fall 2022 semester check in will receive outreach at their Bates email from Brenna Callahan at Bates Health Services to make a plan to receive their booster and submit their updated booster information to the college  when they become eligible.

I’m studying abroad, do I need to submit my COVID-19 booster information?

Yes, all currently enrolled students, including those studying abroad, are required to submit their COVID-19 booster information.

What if I have a medical exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

Students for whom Bates Health Services has approved a medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement will be able to maintain their medical exemption for the COVID-19 booster requirement. These students will receive outreach at their Bates email from Brenna Callahan at Bates Health Services.

How do I apply for a medical exemption to the COVID-19 booster requirement?

Students who are interested in applying for a medical exemption to the COVID-19 booster requirement should contact Brenna Callahan at healthservices@bates.edu. Criteria for medical exemptions include: 1) a severe allergic reaction or a severe hypersensitivity reaction to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; 2) a non-severe allergic reaction or a non-severe hypersensitivity reaction to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 4 hours of receiving the dose; 3) individuals with underlying medical conditions such as weakened immune systems, autoimmune conditions, or other underlying medical conditions following recommendations from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. All requests for medical exemptions are subject to the review and approval of the Medical Director of Bates Health Services.

I recently tested positive for COVID-19, is this a medical exemption to the booster requirement?

No, previously testing positive for COVID-19 is not considered a medical exemption to the COVID-19 booster requirement. The CDC recommends receiving a booster dose 3 months after positive test.

If I receive a medical exemption, how will that impact my ability to participate fully in on-campus activities?

For those with a medical exemption to the booster, the college may limit participation in activities that may be higher risk with regard to transmission (e.g., athletics, recreation, singing, playing instruments, etc.) and require increased public health measures related to testing and masking.

What if I have additional questions about the COVID-19 booster?

Read more here about the COVID-19 booster. Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine policy, medical exemptions, eligibility and scheduling vaccine appointments can be directed to Brenna Callahan at healthservices@bates.edu.