Friday Nurse Notes

February 4, 2022

Dear Community,  

We have been doing a fantastic job as a community with being up to date with our vaccinations!  

I wanted to touch briefly on COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots, and specifically mRNA vaccines. This information is provided by the CDC.  

How do mRNA vaccines work? 

To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, mRNA vaccines use mRNA created in a laboratory to teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies. This means that the virus of COVID-19 is not inserted into your body when you received your COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
  • Like all vaccines, mRNA vaccines benefit people who get vaccinated by giving them protection against diseases like COVID-19 without risking the potentially serious consequences of getting sick.
  • mRNA vaccines are newly available to the public. However, researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
  • mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell where our DNA (genetic material) is located, so it cannot change or influence our genes. 

Why the booster shot is important:  

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time and due to changes in variants. 

  • Data from clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 5 months earlier or who received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months earlier
  • With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent severe disease.

Booster Locations: 

You can make an appointment for your booster using My Turn or find a walk-in vaccination site.  If you are looking for a site close to campus Hendricks Pharmacy in the Claremont Village offers COVID vaccines, click the link to make an appointment. Vons and CVS are also good near-by locations that offer the Booster shot. 

  • Staff/Faculty: You may make an appointment to be vaccinated in the COVID Clinic with Nurse Zephyr on Thursdays from 11 am-12 pm and 1 pm-2 pm. Make an appointment here: Pitzer Clinic 

As we are a close-knit community, it’s important to stay up to date with our vaccinations and be mindful of where others are in their health journey. Booster shots are required for everyone on campus. 

See below the isolation summary as of Friday 02/04/2022  

  • Total Students Currently in Isolation: 7 
  • Total Staff/Faculty Currently in Isolation: 2 

Thanks to everyone for their continued efforts in preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19 😊  

Best,  
Nurse Zephyr  

Zephyr Dowd-Lukesh – RN (She, Her, Hers)  
Hamilton Health Box 
Pitzer College 

Office: (909) 607-2180
Cell: (909) 952-1000