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UW-Madison students, staff react to high vaccination rates

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:01 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW-Madison students are back in town for the fall semester. Currently, 90% of UW-Madison students, faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A handful of students and faculty say this data makes them feel “safer.”

“I feel pretty comfortable being back in school, especially with the high vaccination rates,” Andrew Geng, a UW-Madison Graduate Student said.

Geng is among the 90% of university students, faculty and staff who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“They’ve been really strict and on point so far with everything they’re trying to do,” Geng said.

“Our biggest worry was getting as many folks vaccinated as possible,” Jake Baggott, Dir. of University Health Systems (UHS) said.

Baggot says even with a high vaccination rate, the campus is encouraging everyone to take precautions, and masks, are still required indoors.

“But we do want to be clear, like any large population, the campus is still likely to experience some COVID-19 cases and breakthrough infections in some cases, but overall, we should expect were those to occur, they’d be much milder in terms of illness,” Baggott said.

Right now, 92% of students in the dorms are fully vaccinated. Brendan Dybdahl with University Housing said there’s a plan to quarantine isolate students as needed.

“Some of those are spaces that are available on campus, some of those are area hotels,” Dybdahl said. “We have about 250 beds available to us, I don’t think we’re going to need that much space, but we want to be prepared in case we do.”

With the FDA approval on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, University Health officials say these high vaccination numbers on campus are only the beginning.

“We’ve seen an increase in vax appointments on our own system than we have for the last several weeks now, so individuals are certainly responding to that,” Baggot said.

There are still about 6,500 unvaccinated people who will undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

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