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ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University announced that it will require all eligible students and staff to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for the spring semester.

Students and SLU Care employees are required to get a booster dose by Monday, Jan. 31. All other staff will have until Monday, Feb. 28, to get their booster.

However, the university is urging everyone to get a booster as soon as possible, preferably over winter break.

“The safest way for us to reopen campus is to have as many students and employees as possible who have received their booster dose at least two weeks prior to their return,” a university statement reads.

SLU said those eligible to get a booster include adults over the age of 18 who completed their vaccine series with Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago, as well as those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

The university cited the surge in COVID-19 cases and the new omicron variant in its decision to require the booster.

“Though it appears that omicron might result in less severe disease than delta, it is still critical that we try to prevent disease spread,” a university statement reads. “The more cases in a community, the higher likelihood of infecting people at risk for more severe disease or death.”

SLU said it’s currently updating its vaccination portal, so students and staff won’t be able to submit proof of their boosters just yet. It will notify everyone when the update is complete.

In addition to boosters, SLU is also urging everyone to continue to wear masks.