Vaccinations and Booster Doses

Faculty, Staff and Students

Case Western Reserve University requires COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty, staff and students. Get full details.

Case Western Reserve also requires that all members of the campus community document receipt of at least one booster dose. At this time, if you have already received at least one booster dose, the updated booster (bivalent booster) is highly recommended but is not required. If you have NOT received at least one booster dose, you will need to receive the updated (bivalent) booster to be in compliance with the policy.

If you have a university-approved exemption for COVID-19 vaccinations, it also applies to this new measure. You do not need to take any additional steps.

On-Campus Vaccine Clinics

A limited supply of updated (bivalent) booster vaccines—both Moderna and Pfizer—is now available at the CWRU Vaccine Clinic. 

Please review the CDC guidelines to see if you qualify for an updated booster and to review more information about these doses. In general, you are eligible for an updated booster if you have completed your primary series AND it has been at least two months since your last dose of vaccine (primary series or booster dose). 

Note: Per CDC guidelines, the original (monovalent) COVID vaccine can no longer be administered as a booster. 

The CWRU Vaccine Clinic is also continuing to administer primary doses of Pfizer and Moderna. At this time, the primary series must be given with the original (monovalent) vaccine formulation.

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Vaccination Status

Fully Vaccinated

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine—Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Cero Cells), Sinovac CoronaVac)—or the first (and only) dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (Learn more about international vaccination on the CDC website.) Case Western Reserve now also requires that all members of the campus community document receipt of a booster dose once eligible.

Case Western Reserve will provide updates regarding other acceptable vaccinations should additional information become available.

Not Fully Vaccinated

Individuals not considered fully vaccinated include those who have:

  • not received the final dose of a WHO- approved COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Cero Cells), Sinovac CoronaVac or Johnson & Johnson);
  • not received any vaccine; or
  • received other COVID-19 vaccines—for example, Sputnik, CHO Cell or CanSino.

About the Vaccines

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the vaccines that are now available.

Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccine availability and recommendations.

None of the more than 121,000 participants in clinical trials for the three vaccines had severe reactions determined to be related to the vaccine.

Of the hundreds of thousands of doses administered in the U.S. in December 2020, about a half dozen people receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine suffered severe allergic reactions. Only one such reaction to Moderna has been reported; it was in a physician who has a severe shellfish allergy. He had recovered fully by the following day, and continues to advocate for vaccination. In the spring of 2021, a low number of severe reactions were reported with the J&J vaccine, primarily in women under the age of 50. After a temporary pause in administering these vaccines, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the continued use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

The most common side effects from the vaccines include feeling fatigue or mild soreness in your upper arm. Some also experience a headache, fever and/or chills, but all usually go away within a few hours or by the next morning.

Please review the CDC guidelines to see if you qualify for an updated booster and to review more information about these doses. In general, you are eligible for an updated booster if you have completed your primary series AND it has been at least two months since your last dose of vaccine (primary series or booster dose). 

Based on direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Public Health, Case Western Reserve is pausing the administration of existing COVID-19 vaccine boosters. 

We will post more information when it is available.

When you receive a booster shot, you have the option to either get the same COVID-19 vaccine product as you received originally, or a different manufacturer’s COVID-19 vaccine. You may prefer for the vaccine type that you originally received, or you may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix-and-match dosing for booster shots. 

Please consider the benefits and risks of each manufacturer’s vaccine. Staff at the CWRU Vaccine sites cannot provide such guidance, so you may also want to discuss options with your healthcare provider before coming to your appointment. 

CWRU students may consult with University Health Services about booster vaccine options by emailing covidvaccine@case.edu

Faculty and staff—as well as individuals coming from outside the university—should consult with their regular healthcare provider. Clinical information from the CDC about individual risks and benefits can be found on the agency’s website.

Per the CDC’s guidance, adults 18 years and older who have completed a primary series of a non-FDA authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna as long as it has been at least 2 months since their last dose of vaccine (including any monovalent booster).

If your first series is not a WHO-approved vaccine, those doses do not count toward vaccination in the U.S. You should start a U.S.-approved series at least 28 days after the last dose of your vaccine.

This fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides an easy-to-understand summary about the vaccines.

This CDC webpage offers information about what to expect on the day you go to get your first vaccination.

Distribution of Vaccines (Ohio)

Distribution of Vaccines (CWRU)

Case Western Reserve is offering vaccines to the campus community by appointment only. Schedule your appointment online.

A limited supply of updated (bivalent) booster vaccines—both Moderna and Pfizer—is now available at the CWRU Vaccine Clinic. Schedule an appointment online.