Florida A&M University is now offering two booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine for those with compromised immune systems.
The Pfizer and Moderna third dosage are available to, but not limited to, individuals with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), lupus, heart conditions and people who are prescribed drugs that suppress their immune system.
Jamal Stokes, a Tallahassee native and lupus patient, has already received his booster shot for the Pfizer vaccine.
“As soon as I got word that the booster shot was available on FAMU’s campus, I went right up there,” Stokes said. “I didn’t have to bring a doctor’s note or anything…very grateful that the university is offering this.”
The university is not requiring individuals with compromised immune systems to bring a doctor’s note to prove their conditions, preregister, or make appointments. They are only required to fill out a form upon arrival.
Tanya Tatum, the FAMU Student Health Services director, discussed the purpose of this third dosage for those who are eligible.
“The additional dose brings their immune systems up to par with those who have healthy immunes and are fully vaccinated,” Tatum explained.
Some students at the university are hopeful that the booster shot will eventually be offered to all individuals, no matter their immune status. Students are trying their best to remain optimistic about not only the future of the university, but the United States.
“I think it’s really important that the campus is offering the third dosage and all other vaccines because hopefully that will encourage students to get it,” Tyla Ewards, a fourth year facilities management student with long qt syndrome said. “It’s free and super convenient being that you can go get your booster shot in between classes with no hassle.”
For now, scientists are recommending the booster shots to those with convincing evidence that the initial doses of the vaccine do not offer enough immune protection.
The Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee has posed the question of whether to wait for a booster designed to fight against multiple variants to be offered to those with normal immune systems.
The most common side effects by clinical trial participants who have received the booster dose of the vaccine were pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. Other side effects include headache, fatigue, joint or muscle pain and chills.
Both Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines are available at FAMU on 659 Ardelia Court, located off Robert and Trudie Perkins Way. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturday.