UA reports 58% student vaccination rate as campus cases double

Jack Maurer | @JackMaurer10, Chief Copy Editor

The University of Alabama System reported student vaccination data for the first time on Monday, revealing that 58% of UA students have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The University of Alabama reports a slightly lower student vaccination rate than the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where 60% of students have received at least one dose. The corresponding figure at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is 41%.

In Alabama, about 50% of residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 38% are fully vaccinated. In Tuscaloosa County, 34% of residents are fully vaccinated.

The employee vaccination rate at The University of Alabama remains roughly unchanged since last week, at 72.5%. UA health care providers have now administered more than 17,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Compared to last week’s report, nearly twice as many UA students tested positive for COVID-19. Between Aug. 23 and 29, 194 students and 23 faculty and staff members tested positive. This comes as cases and hospitalizations soar across the state.

“We are pleased with the initial student vaccine data reports and will continue working to increase rates through integrated tactics, including pop-up vaccine clinics,” said Dr. Richard Friend, dean of the UA College of Community Health Sciences. “While we are seeing a fraction of positive cases compared to this time last year, the statewide surge is serious, and we urge the community to remain vigilant, mask indoors, and get vaccinated.”

The University offered a number of prizes to randomly selected students who submitted proof of vaccination by Aug. 28. It will continue to reward students who upload proof of vaccination with $40 in Bama Cash until Friday, Sept. 10.

“I commend each of our UA System campuses for their persistent and ongoing efforts to encourage widespread vaccination,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. “This priority will remain our focus moving forward, as we know the COVID vaccine is safe, effective, and key to maintaining in-person operations.”

The University is hosting a walk-in vaccine clinic at the Ferguson Center Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.