USC announced Tuesday that Trojan Check will prohibit all students, staff and faculty from entering campus if they are not compliant with the influenza shot requirement starting in December. The university recommends all students receive their flu shot by Monday, Nov. 15 to allow the two weeks necessary to meet immunization requirements prior to end-of-semester finals and holiday travel.
The health notice asked students to take precautionary measures to protect themselves and those around them, stating the upcoming months are colder and will bring a “higher risk of respiratory infection.”
Throughout the semester, USC has kept COVID-19 cases relatively low. In week 10, after students returned from Fall Recess and L.A. saw an increase in public activities, there was a slight increase in positive COVID-19 cases, totaling 69 cases (0.21% positivity rate among students, 0.62% among staff and faculty). USC may see another increase in positive COVID-19 cases when students return back to campus from Thanksgiving Break.
Getting a COVID-19 booster shot was one safety precaution recommended by the university. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes people can receive booster shots of any brand and do not need to get the same brand they were first vaccinated with.
If someone got their second shot of Moderna or Pfizer at least 6 months ago, they are eligible for a booster if they meet the following requirements: They must be at least 65-years-old, or at least 18-years-old and living in a “long-term care setting” or have a high risk of severe symptoms because of underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Adults who work or live in a high risk setting such as health care and education are also eligible for a booster shot.
The Johnson & Johnson booster is available for people 18-years-old or older if they were vaccinated at least two months ago.
Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are available through USC pharmacies, while Moderna is available through off-campus pharmacies and retailers, according to USC Student Health.
Additionally, the notice asked students to remain at home if they feel sick. If students show symptoms of a respiratory illness or COVID-19, they should get a COVID test as the recent cases on campus included reports of “mild upper respiratory symptoms.”
CDC data demonstrates how unvaccinated people are six times more likely to contract COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals and 11 times more likely to die from the virus. At USC, unvaccinated people are two to four times more likely to become infected.
Students can schedule flu shot and COVID-19 test appointments through the MySHR health portal. The shot is free of charge to those on USC student health insurance, while others must pay $20. Flu vaccines are also available at local pharmacies, such as the CVS in the USC Village Target.