BSM faculty and staff have started to receive their COVID-19 booster shots


Courtesy of Sadie Witterschein

BSM faculty and staff have started to get their COVID-19 boosters.

Earlier this school year, the FDA approved COVID- 19 booster shots for those who had received their COVID-19 vaccines six months prior and were consistently at risk for exposure to the virus.

BSM faculty and staff were first able to receive the vaccine last January, so they are now eligible for booster shots. As of November 18, 33 teachers and staff members have responded to a survey about their boosters. 54.5% of respondents have received their booster, and the other 45.5% said they have not gotten it yet, but are planning on receiving a shot. No respondent said they were not getting a booster.

Covid cases in the metro area and the school community are on the rise, so many teachers are especially anxious to receive their shot. Having an extra dose of the vaccine provides an extra layer of protection against the virus and can protect teachers from being seriously sick. “If you get a vaccine, you’re much less likely to get seriously ill. You can still get Covid, but you’re not going to have as serious [symptoms],” BSM biology teacher Bob Lyons said.

Another reason teachers are looking to get their booster is because of their close proximity to unvaccinated family members. The Covid vaccines are still not approved for children under five, and the FDA only approved them for 5-11 year olds in late October, so many children haven’t been able to receive two doses. For many teachers, frequent contact with unvaccinated children or vulnerable parents pushed them to get the booster. “My kids haven’t been vaccinated yet, and I’m always worried about my parents,” English teacher Keanan Faruq said.

My kids haven’t been vaccinated yet, and I’m always worried about my parents”

— Faruq

As with the first Covid vaccine doses, some people experienced Covid-like symptoms after their booster. Lyons was sick for two days after his booster, and said that his symptoms were far worse than after either of the other doses. “I had side effects Tuesday night, melonite chills, low grade fever….I was miserable and I had a fever, chills, and sweats last night too,” Lyons said.

Compared to more traditional office professions, teachers are frequently exposed to Covid and other illnesses. “Especially now that we’re back in school and a lot of people are still working from home, I think we’re at a much greater risk here at school than the average person,” Faruq said.