91% of undergrads vaccinated as vaccine deadline looms
September 15, 2021
Wednesday, Sept. 15, was the last day for University members to either receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or submit a vaccination exemption request to the University following Governor J.B. Pritzker’s mandate on Aug. 26.
The mandate, which also coincided with a renewed indoor mask mandate, stated that all state employees and University students must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Since then, two emails have been sent updating the University on the vaccination percentages in the community, one Massmail on Aug. 26 and an email from the COVID-19 Executive Steering Committee on Sept. 8.
Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for Public Affairs, said the number of vaccinations have increased since the last update on Sept. 8.
The vaccination rate for undergraduate students has increased from 90% to 91%, the graduate student rate has increased from 92% to 93%, the faculty rate has increased from 84% to 85% and the academic professional rate went up from 89% to 90%, according to Kaler. The largest increase was from civil service employees, which increased from 69% to 71%.
Although Wednesday is the last day to start the vaccination process, Kaler does not anticipate a large increase afterwards. She says the next step is to continue to go through the exemption requests.
“Over the next couple of weeks, people will continue to be working through the exemption requests,” Kaler said. “So, in this transition period, we’re still having everybody test as if they need to do that at the normal rate. But over the next couple of weeks as we get all the exemptions processed then we’ll determine those who need to test at a greater frequency.”
McKinley will still be offering vaccinations to students who have not been vaccinated, however, Kaler says faculty and staff are encouraged to go through the community to receive their vaccinations.