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Dear Stanford community,
With Stanford’s Winter Closure beginning next week and the winter break already under way for students, we wanted to share reminders about staying healthy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Vaccination remains the most critical step for protecting ourselves and others. Early data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are most effective against the Omicron variant in individuals who have received both a full course of vaccination and a booster dose. Therefore, we strongly urge our community to take every precaution and get your booster dose, if eligible.
In California, eligibility for booster shots is as follows:
- Anyone aged 16 or older who has completed their primary vaccination series with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago
- Anyone aged 18 or older who has completed their primary vaccination series with the Moderna vaccine at least six months ago
- Anyone aged 18 or older who has completed their primary vaccination series with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago
Booster shots are available by appointment at several Stanford Health Care locations. You may also schedule a booster through the California Department of Public Health. Students who are in other locations for the break and have not yet received a booster dose are encouraged to seek one through local providers.
We also encourage the continued use of face masks, regardless of vaccination status. No evidence has emerged that indicates the prevention strategies that have helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic are not effective against the Omicron variant. Whether you are on or off campus, we encourage you to continue wearing your mask when in indoor public spaces. Please note that the State of California also has now issued a statewide mask mandate for indoor public settings, similar to the mandate that had already been in place locally.
As a reminder, you can consult Health Alerts for the latest information and resources about COVID-19.
We want to thank each of you for all you have done to keep our community safe throughout the pandemic and wish you all a healthy and happy winter break.
Lloyd B. Minor, MD
Dean, Stanford University School of Medicine
Rich Wittman, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Stanford University Occupational Health Center
James R. Jacobs, MD, PhD
Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director, Vaden Health Services