Officials approved one dose of the bivalent mRNA vaccine, which has both the original and omicron coronavirus strains, as an equivalent for the preexisting two-dose mandate, according to an email to community members Tuesday.
GW will accept either the primary series of monovalent mRNA vaccines, like the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccines and booster dose, or a single dose of the bivalent mRNA vaccine, the email states. The announcement updates the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements and follows the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the single-dose series and the agency’s revoking of the initial Moderna and Pfizer monovalent vaccine authorization last month.
The email states that those already in compliance with vaccine requirements do not need to get an additional vaccine but recommends individuals who do not currently meet the University requirement receive a dose of the bivalent vaccine. The FDA states that individuals previously vaccinated with a monovalent vaccine may receive one dose of the bivalent vaccine and first-time vaccine recipients may receive one dose of the bivalent vaccine instead of the original monovalent vaccines.
“Community members who are already in compliance with GW’s vaccine mandate do not need to take any action, but it is strongly recommended for everyone to have a bivalent vaccine,” the email states.
Students cannot register for classes until they meet the University’s vaccination requirements, unless they are granted a religious or medical exception, according to the email.
GW first instituted a vaccine requirement for GW community members in August 2021 and 90 percent of the GW community was fully vaccinated with two monovalent doses that month. The University also required students, faculty and staff to receive a booster dose of the COVID vaccine by February 2022.
The email states GW community members can receive the bivalent COVID vaccine at local pharmacies and doctors’ offices and directs community members to VaccineFinder.org.
This article appeared in the May 4, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.