Oct. 6, 2022, Bivalent/Omicron COVID-19 Booster Update for HSIP Students

The following information comes from emails sent by the UW Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) last Friday and today, Thursday, Oct. 6. The Bivalent/Omicron COVID-19 booster is a UW Medicine requirement, NOT a School of Medicine requirement and is for students, staff and faculty at UW Medicine facilities only.

The UW Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) is contacting you regarding bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines. Many practicum sites, including UW Medicine facilities, are requiring proof of the newest bivalent COVID-19 booster, which includes coverage for the omicron variants.

In the likelihood that HSIP students will be required to meet practicum site bivalent COVID-19 booster requirements to participate in many health care settings, HSIP is requesting that all HSIP students schedule their bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccination as soon as possible.  HSIP is working with CastleBranch to set up the ability to populate a new to-do action for students to upload their documentation.  We will notify students once this function is available.  Uploading documentation, as soon as it is available to do so, will assist in validating bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccinations to practicum sites and avoid practicum sites declining student participation.

UW Medicine facilities will be requiring the COVID Bivalent mRNA vaccine booster for all students at their sites by Nov. 11, 2022.

  • Students are not eligible for declination.
  • If students have tested positive for COVID-19 infection within 90 days prior to the 11/11/2022 due date, they can contact HSIP to complete a COVID-19 Bivalent booster extension request (form under development and should be available by next week).
  • Students with a medical contraindication to the COVID-19 Bivalent mRNA vaccine booster, can request a medical exemption through the pre-existing exemption request process.  The form is available here.  Completed medical exemption requested should be returned to HSIP at myshots@uw.edu no later than Nov. 1, 2022.

HSIP is currently working with CastleBranch to allow us to set up additional to-do actions for submitting the bivalent booster dose in student’s CB accounts.  While this is being developed, students have the option to send their booster vaccine documents directly to HSIP at myshots@uw.edu, and we will record them in CastleBranch once this is available.

HSIP is assisting only with the UW Medical facilities bivalent booster requirement.  Students at Non-UW Medical sites should follow the process at those sites regarding COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine requirements; please work with your clinical site coordinators.

Bivalent COVID-19 BOOSTER ELIGIBILITY (Refer to the CDC COVID vaccine and booster [cdc.gov] website for more information):

The updated bivalent Pfizer booster is available to people ages 12 and older who have:

  • Completed their COVID-19 primary series vaccination at least 2 months ago; or
  • Received their last booster/additional dose at least 2 months ago

The updated bivalent Moderna booster is available to people ages 18 and older meeting the same criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I get a bivalent COVID-19 booster?

The Whole U is partnering with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association to offer limited COVID-19 Pfizer bivalent booster clinics.

Register for a clinic below:

Nov 3 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Husky Union Building Rm 337 [schedule.seattlevna.com]

Nov 4 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Health Sciences 3rd Floor Lobby [schedule.seattlevna.com]

Updated boosters are also available through UW Medicine [uwmedicine.org], and you can find appointments at local pharmacies, health clinics, and other locations through the WA state vaccine locator [vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov].

That’s worth emphasizing.For Seattle-based students who wish to find a location where you can get the vaccine, please see the WA state COVID-19 vaccine finder webpage: Vaccinate WA: Find COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Near You [vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov]

You can also call UW Medical Center-Montlake at 844.520.8700.  It is suggested that you report your medical student status when calling UWMC since this is the main COVID booster scheduling line.

What if I am not attending a practicum site that requires bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccination?
We still strongly encourage you to receive a bivalent booster dose as soon as possible.  If or when bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines become an HSIP requirement in the future (e.g., if CDC requires them for health care workers), students in HSIP-participating schools/programs will be notified.  At that time, anyone who has not already submitted a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose to their CastleBranch account would be required to do so.

Please contact HSIP at myshots@uw.edu for any additional questions.