From Where We Are

USC is launching new COVID booster vaccination.

USC Pharmacies are waiting for the stock, but students have different opinions on whether they are willing to get the booster shot.

Vaccine eligibility has been a contested issue in recent months

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended updated COVID-19 vaccines for much of the American public. The FDA approved these shots, which target the dominant U.S. strain, XBB.1.5.

USC has a plan to roll out these new boosters, says USC pharmacist Katty Hsu.

Katty Hsu: Yes. We’re still waiting for our stock. And we’re projecting at the end of the month. But as soon as we get stock and we’ll disseminate the information, as we always do.

Some USC students haven’t decided whether to get the booster.

Edward Santos has doubts about the effectiveness of the continuously released boosters.

Edward Santos: Well, I feel like they’ve come out with so many boosters now that, like, if the first one didn’t work, why wouldn’t the second one work as well? You know what I mean? And why do they keep making more? Because after that, once they said that they’re making more boosters, I was like, No, I don’t think I’m gonna take this.

However, student Ethan Crass has a positive attitude towards boosters.

Ethan Crass: Oh, yeah, I definitely can do it. Um, well, there’s been a huge spike in COVID lately. A lot of my friends have gotten it again, and I just want to stay safe and help stop the spread.

Joy Jackson decided to get vaccinated due to the current COVID situation on campus.

Joy Jackson: Yes. Because like, I get a bunch of emails from USC about how COVID cases, especially in my dorm, which is kale. And so I just like, I got like five emails this past week about, like, COVID cases. So, yeah, I do want a COVID vaccine.

As Jackson said, there are new COVID cases at USC every day, with 44 new cases on Monday and 17 on Tuesday. Hsu gave some advice on how to keep yourself and the USC Community safel.

Katty Hsu: I think it’s always good to get boosted with the different sort of variations of the, um, you know, the COVID 19 vaccine, especially since the previous version is going to be obsolete. It’s really good. And, you know, just based off of cases and everything, you know, it’s always good to keep up with the newer versions of the COVID vaccine for protection.

The CDC also recommends everyone 6 months and older to take updated COVID-19 vaccines. Their research shows that the new vaccine offers enhanced protection against the variants currently responsible for the majority of hospitalizations in the United States.

Here’s Dr. Camille Kotton, a panel member of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, who strongly recommends getting the booster shot.

Camille Kotton: Let’s keep America strong, healthy. Let’s do away with COVID-19 as best we can by prevention of disease through vaccines. Let’s make things clear.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Lifan Zhang.