Half of campus vaccinated as July 1 goal approaches, incentives announced

UD’s COVID-19 dashboard reported that 50% of students, faculty and staff have received their COVID vaccine as of Monday. The university set a goal to have 70% of campus fully vaccinated by the fall semester.

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Zoë Hill | News Editor

Half of the campus community has reported their vaccination records as the deadline for UD’s  Build Immunity in Our Community goal approaches. 

The university’s COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated weekly on Mondays, puts the overall total at 50 percent of campus having uploaded their vaccine cards. Undergraduate student numbers sit at 49 percent reported, while graduate students are at 37 percent, and employees of the university are at 58 percent. Vaccine reporting in every group is up 4 percent from last week. 

The Build Immunity in Our Community goal was announced in May by UD in an effort to get more of campus vaccinated. Reaching 70 percent will help the Path Forward team make decisions for how the fall semester will operate, the university said.

The university has yet to announce whether all classes will be in person at full capacity or if masks will be required on campus this coming year. Other changes such as hosting an in-person Family Weekend, allowing intramural sports and clubs to meet and travel, opening residence halls to guests and increasing the capacity of public spaces may all be contingent on meeting the goal.

“We are very encouraged by the steady increase in the number of vaccinations among our campus community,” university officials said. “We remain hopeful we will meet the challenge so UD can ease more restrictions and requirements depending on the state of the pandemic — especially those most important to our students, faculty and staff.”

Students were offered the option to report their COVID-19 vaccination status in-person at St. Mary’s Hall last week on June 9 and 10. Another way UD has offered to accept vaccination reports without having students upload their vaccination cards is through a confidential Zoom held Wednesday and again on June 22.  

UD Student Health Center Medical Director Dr. Mary Buchwalder said at a town hall in May that the University’s goal of 70 percent is slightly lower than CDC recommendations. She anticipates some students will get vaccinated and neglect to report it to the university, she said. 

UD announced a reward program on Friday to incentivize students and staff to report their vaccinations. Every Tuesday and Thursday from June 17 to July 1, the university will randomly draw winners from the list of people who have submitted their shot record. Prizes include Flyer’s basketball tickets, President Spina’s personal parking spot for the 2021-2022 year and a private pick-up basketball game at UD Arena, among others that will be announced before each drawing. 

“We feel our campus community’s commitment to the common good, coupled with attractive incentives, will enable us to reach our goal,” university officials said. 

University officials plan to reach out to the campus community in July with updates on how the vaccination rate on campus will affect the fall semester. Depending on whether UD meets the July 1 goal, the university may change their approach to getting more of campus vaccinated, officials said.