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VUMC strongly recommends COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccination as new COVID-19 variants appear in our region

Jan. 4, 2023, 3:54 PM


As we conclude the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, important advances have been made in the diagnosis, treatment, and especially prevention of this serious infection. To date, over 663 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to people in the U.S. alone. These vaccines have been proven very safe with severe side effects being extremely rare. Importantly, they have been incredibly effective at preventing serious complications of COVID-19 infection, such as hospitalization or death.

With the development of new variants of the COVID-19 virus across the U.S. and the world, the FDA and CDC approved a formulation of the COVID-19 vaccine (called the “bivalent vaccine booster”) that will more effectively protect against these new serious strains. Unfortunately, only 17% of all adults and 37% of older adults who are most at risk for severe COVID-19 complications have gotten a bivalent booster. Currently, a new variant, named XBB.1.5, has started circulating in our region (about 20% of infections in Tennessee are now due to this variant). The original COVID-19 vaccine does not protect against the XBB.1.5 variant. The bivalent booster vaccine is necessary for protection against this new XBB.1.5 variant.

To receive your COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine, you can visit the Occupational Health Clinic on the sixth floor of the Medical Arts Building, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or stop by one of the convenient booster pop-up events listed below. No appointment is needed.

  • Thursday, Jan. 5 – noon-4:30 p.m., roaming cart throughout Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
  • Friday, Jan. 6 – 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., roaming cart throughout VUH, CCT, and MCE.
  • Saturday, Jan. 7 – 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., roaming cart throughout Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
  • Sunday, Jan. 8 – 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., roaming cart throughout VUH, CCT, and MCE.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10 – 8 a.m.-4 p.m., roaming cart throughout VUH, MCN Round Wing, CCT, and MCE.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11 – 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Light Hall North Lobby.
  • Thursday, Jan. 12– 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Monroe Carell Room 2104 (2ndfloor near guest services desk).
  • Friday, Jan. 13 – 1-8 p.m. at Monroe Carell Room 2104 (2ndfloor near guest services desk).
  • Saturday, Jan. 14 – 1-4 p.m. by VUH Cafeteria and 4:45-8 p.m. by Panera Bread on 2ndfloor of VUH.
  • Sunday, Jan. 15 – 2-6 p.m. at Monroe Carell Room 2104 (2ndfloor near guest services desk).

To receive a bivalent booster at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital, or Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital, please reach out to your respective Occupational Health resource:

  • VWCH – Retha Parker, RN, MSN, at 615-453-7232
  • VBH – Angel Whitaker, RN, at 931-685-8404
  • VTHH – Janet Baker, RN, at 931-393-7944

For various locations across the community which are offering the updated COVID-19 booster vaccine, including several retail pharmacies, visit

As shared in the recent VUMC announcement, VUMC employees should update their bivalent booster status with Occupational Health by Jan 15. To update their status, employees can either get their bivalent booster, voluntarily self-report it, or submit an exemption request (medical, religious/sincerely held spiritual belief, and/or indicate that you decline to provide documentation). Employees who previously received an exemption from the primary series or initial booster requirement are not required to submit a new exemption request for the bivalent booster.

If you have not already received the bivalent vaccine booster, we urge you, your loved ones and friends to get a COVID-19 bivalent booster dose as soon as you can. Together, we can continue to protect ourselves, our patients, our loved ones, and our community from serious COVID-19 infection.

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