Sept. 8, 2022

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Duke is beginning to offer the newly reformatted booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine that provide greater protection against the omicron variant of COVID, including the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants currently in circulation in our community and across the country.

The bivalent booster shots were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week for individuals who have had the initial series of the vaccine. The Pfizer booster is available to those ages 12 and older, and the Moderna booster is available to those 18 and older. Those who recently received an initial vaccine shot or a booster should wait two months before getting the new booster, and anyone who recently tested positive for COVID should wait 90 days after the onset of symptoms or a positive test.

Appointments are available through the Duke COVID Vaccine website for eligible students, faculty and staff. Appointments will expand as Duke Health receives additional shipments of vaccine throughout the month. But individuals should also explore other vaccination options such as local pharmacies or their healthcare provider.

We strongly recommend the bivalent booster shot for those who are eligible to help provide individual protection against severe illness and limit the potential for the broader community spread we typically see during the fall and winter months.

If you have waited to get a booster shot, this is the time to get it. Broad vaccination with this new booster can make a significant difference in finally getting to the other side of this pandemic. Thank you. 

Carol Epling, MD, MSPH
Executive Director, Duke Employee Occupational Health & Wellness

John Vaughn, MD

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs,

Director of Student Health Services

Gail Shulby, RN, MA, CPPS
Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President, Duke Health

Cameron R. Wolfe, MBBS (Hons), MPH, FIDSA
Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Duke Health

Co-Leaders of the COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Work Group