UW reports sky-high vaccination rates

Pedestrians and students walk across Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the...
Pedestrians and students walk across Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the tree foliage begins to take on a golden hue during autumn on Nov. 3, 2016. (Photo by Jeff Miler/UW-Madison)(WSAW)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 9:49 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The University of Wisconsin is celebrating meeting or exceeding its COVID-19 vaccination goals among students and staff heading into the fall semester. According to numbers released Thursday, nine in ten people in the Madison campus community are fully vaccinated.

“I’m proud of our students and employees for taking this important step to protect themselves and others. And I’m grateful to our staff, who worked tirelessly to achieve these results,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said.

Among students, UW numbers show 91 percent of the ones who will attend in-person classes on campus have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 88 percent have already completed their series and the subsequent two-week waiting period.

Students who plan to live on campus reported an even higher vaccination rate. The university reports having documentation from 92 percent of University Housing residents showing they completed their series. That figure climbs to 94 percent when including those who have received at least one dose.

“The students at UW-Madison have demonstrated again that we have built a culture of responsibility on our campuses,” adds interim UW System President Tommy Thompson. “I applaud them for doing the right thing, and I applaud Chancellor Blank and her staff for making vaccinations of students and employees such a high priority.”

Faculty vaccination rates couldn’t get much higher, the university reports, with 99 percent of professors now fully vaccinated. Expanding beyond them to include the entire UW staff, the number who have completed their series still sits at a remarkably high 92 percent.

“Badgers have shown that they trust the science,” Thompson added. “I continue to hope that more members of our state will follow our lead, as it is clear that vaccines are the best tool for controlling and ultimately ending this pandemic.”

Fully VaccinatedReceived at least 1 dose
Entire community90%n/a
University Housing residents92%94%
All UW employees92%n/a

Those numbers far outpace even the surrounding Dane Co. community, which leads the state – and is among the top tier in the country - with just under 70 percent of the population being fully vaccinated, a number UW officials pointed at, saying the campus is “fortunate to be situated within” the county.

According to the university, its student vaccination is in-line with or higher than other Big Ten schools. It credits the success so far to its repeated and highly visible messaging and a strong focus on the topic. UW continues to offer no-cost vaccines through its University Health Services for the remaining students and staff who have nor received one.

“The work by UHS, supervisors and employees to encourage and provide vaccinations has been remarkable,” notes Blank, “including translating information into multiple languages and helping employees on all shifts find ways to receive their shots.”

The announcement comes as the UW System as a whole and state Republican lawmakers continue to clash over if the university’s have the ability to impose mask and vaccine requirements on the students and staff without legislative approval.

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