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Sunday, December 03, 2023

University Health Services reverses decision to offer Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots

University Health Services will pause offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots, as it waits for approval from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

After the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced on Sept. 30 that UHS would offer booster shots, some campus community members saw their appointments to receive the shot pushed back and rescheduled to this week. 

On Monday, an anonymous source reported to The Daily Cardinal, hearing staff discuss canceling all Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots at a UHS vaccine clinic after they had received their Pfizer booster shot. According to the source, UHS employees stated that the DHS planned to reverse its recent decision to offer booster shots due to the Center for Disease Control’s lack of adequate discussion. 

The source overheard staff state that emails would be sent to those that scheduled appointments for booster shots informing them of the cancellation.

“I think waiting longer may have been useful since the staff [even] expressed that they wished everything was ‘set in stone’ before they went ahead on their side of things,” said the source. “No UHS employees talked to me or any of the other people in the waiting area about why they were pulling the shots now.”

University spokesperson Meredith McGlone stated in an email Monday evening that UHS had scheduled some appointments, but is still waiting for clinical considerations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DHS before they are able to offer Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters.

Booster shot appointments for Moderna are still available on UHS’s online appointment scheduler, alongside a notice that “Booster doses for people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson are currently on hold.”

“We are following the guidance from DHS, which is to wait for these recommendations before offering the shots,” McGlone said. “We will follow up with those who had made appointments to let them know when they can reschedule and we thank them for their patience and understanding.” 

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