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At the Jan. 13 UW Medicine town hall, medical leaders from across UW Medicine facilities met to discuss the current state of the organization. From COVID-19, vaccinations, and the financial state of UW Medicine, the hourlong town hall covered a wide variety of pressing issues.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant emphasis has been put on the advice “if you are sick, stay home.” Yet the fear of missing an exam, being docked for an absence, or the hassle of having to obtain a medical note can prevent students from doing so. 

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.

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