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Bates students will be required to get COVID-19 booster shots when eligible

Students at Lewiston's Bates College will be required to get COVID-19 booster shots, when eligible.

In an announcement on Thursday, college officials pointed to early evidence showing that boosters provide increased protection against the omicron variant, as compared to only two doses. The college also noted recent examples of major outbreaks on campuses, even with the vast majority of students fully vaccinated.

"Our addition of the booster requirement is based on the evidence to date that the booster will give us the best chance of preserving the in-person student experience in the face of a highly transmissible variant," wrote Josh McIntosh, the college's vice president for student life.

Brunswick's Bowdoin College announced a similar requirement earlier this month. Bates is encouraging students to get their boosters over the next few weeks, but the school says there will be vaccination opportunities when students return to campus in January.