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Over the past several months, UW Medicine has administered over 20,000 bivalent boosters. Bivalent boosters are an updated COVID-19 vaccination including strains of both the original virus and the omicron variant to better protect against infection.

Trigger warning: Mentions of suicidal ideation.

On Oct. 31, UW announced that the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will stay in effect for students and university personnel. As of Nov. 1, on-site suppliers, vendors, contractors, and volunteers are “strongly encouraged” to have the vaccine but are no longer required to have them.

As of Sept. 2, the latest COVID-19 bivalent booster became available from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both approved the booster for most of the general public.

October marks the unofficial beginning of flu season. As students and staff come back to a fall quarter with far fewer masks than in recent UW memory, experts are predicting that the 2022-2023 flu season will be especially tough and encourage anyone to get vaccinated as early as possible. 

As of July 16, the new omicron subvariant, BA.5, has become the dominant strain in the United States. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the variant accounted for approximately 78% of ongoing COVID-19 cases across the country in the past two weeks. 

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