College holds COVID-19 booster and flu shot clinic

Noor Naseer and Inés Garcia

The College held an on-campus vaccine clinic in the Towne Field House. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

The College hosted a community-wide vaccination clinic in partnership with Berkshire Health Systems and the Berkshire County Boards of Health Association on Friday.

The clinic was hosted at the Towne Field House from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and administered flu shots and both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 bivalent boosters to students, faculty, staff, and community members at no cost. “718 people were vaccinated [at the clinic] for a total of 1,082 vaccines given, as some people received both COVID and flu [vaccinations],” Director of Medical Services Deb Flynn said in an email to the Record.

Clinic participants were required to register beforehand and have all primary dosages of the COVID vaccine. While the College has held other COVID booster clinics in the past, this is the first clinic that it has hosted on campus this academic year, and it comes a few weeks after the initial spike in the number of COVID cases on campus after students arrived for the fall semester.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone ages 5 and older get the updated bivalent booster for greater protection against both the original COVID strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration encourages people to stay up to date with boosters in order to maximize protection against the ever-evolving virus.

Some students said that the College-run clinic reassured them about efforts to limit the spread of COVID on campus and made getting boosters very accessible. “It makes me feel safer in the College, knowing that a greater percentage of the student body is double-boosted,” Maya Barr ’26, who received both the flu shot and COVID booster at the clinic, said.

“This is the first clinic I’ve come to,” Maya Goldstein ’25 said. “Because the booster is becoming less of a big deal, I kind of put it off a little bit.”

Whereas Goldstein was eager to book appointments for previous vaccine appointments and even travel off campus to do so, she said she was relieved that this clinic was proximate and accessible. “ It was really nice that[the clinic] was here and I could just sign up, and that’s all I had to do,” she said.

Students weren’t the only ones who expressed gratitude for the clinic, not only for its accessibility but also for its greater impact. “I think it’s wonderful that everyone came out and signed up,” said Lisa Armstrong, a staff member at Driscoll Dining Hall who got vaccinated at the clinic. “My daughter is a registered nurse and is very adamant that flu shots keep you healthy. I want to stay healthy to take care of those around me — to be around for a long time, to see my grandkids.”