Purdue University announced Tuesday that 60 percent of school students and 66 percent of employees have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ahead of the upcoming school year, which officially begins in just over a month.
Purdue is not requiring COVID vaccinations, but unvaccinated students and staff must participate in surveillance testing, which the university has said could occur weekly. Those who choose to get fully vaccinated are being asked to submit that proof by Aug. 13 to gain an exemption from surveillance testing as the academic calendar kicks off.
A spokesperson for Indiana University, where vaccinations for students and employees are required, said over 80 percent of students, faculty, and staff across all campuses have submitted proof of vaccinations. Notre Dame, which also mandates vaccines, reported 90 percent of students had been fully vaccinated in mid-April, with 82 percent of faculty and staff fully vaccinated as of this week; a spokesperson said the school was still gathering data on incoming students. Ball State University, which does not have a mandate, did not respond to a request for vaccination numbers.
In a statement, Purdue College of Pharmacy Dean Eric Barker said the school was “grateful” to students and employees who have elected to receive COVID vaccinations.
“But there’s still a lot more work to do, and we anticipate many more will do the same before that first day of fall semester classes when our campus community swells to more than 50,000 students, faculty and staff,” Barker said.
Purdue released more details over the weekend about its reopening plan, which calls for a return to normal operations and a full capacity campus. The latest update also underlines Purdue’s intent to provide fewer quarantine and isolation spaces; available spots are not guaranteed. Students are being asked to prepare a fallback plan if exposed to or diagnosed with COVID.
Unvaccinated students who have a “high-risk exposure” to COVID will be required to quarantine, while vaccinated students will not be required to do so if they remain asymptomatic. The university will also return to “pre-COVID-19 standards” for academic policies.
The first day of classes is Aug. 23.