Lourdes University falling short of “80 in 80” vaccine goal; still has high hopes
So far 63% of staff and faculty members, and 37% of students have reported that they are fully vaccinated.
SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - Lourdes University kicked off an ambitious project back in May 2021 called “80 in 80:” get at least 80% of its student body vaccinated in just 80 days. With just a few weeks left until the August 6th deadline, 13abc checked in to get a progress report. According to the university, the numbers aren’t where they want them to be.
“We are still climbing a very high hill,” said Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek, president of Lourdes University. “We’re struggling with what’s happening across the country.” According to Dr. Gawelek and her COVID-19 health team at the school, 63% of staff and faculty members report receiving their COVID-19 shot. However, only 37% of students have reported that they are fully vaccinated. To boost these numbers, the university is offering incentives. Vaccinated students who register with the university on its COVID-19 Vaccine Document page will be entered to win a $5,000 waiver towards their tuition. “We will give a few more treats,” said Dr. Gawelek. “But this is what I think happened with the waiver: it drove people who were already vaccinated to get registered.”
Now the goal is to educate unvaccinated students about the reasons to get their shot. Students are expected to begin returning to campus starting August 1st. Staff an faculty will be reaching out in the few weeks leading up to the start of the fall semester, encouraging unvaccinated students to go get their shot, and offering informative resources about COVID-19. “Lucas County is particularly vulnerable to variants, and it’s very important that we get to that 70/80 percent,” added Dr. Gawelek. “Will we hit 80? I’m feeling less confident. But we have to get at least 70.”
Lourdes University will be scaling back on COVID-19 protocol come the fall. While the school is independently owned and not a public institution, there will still be no mask mandate. Lourdes encourages unvaccinated staff and students to continue wearing their masks. Those who choose to wear a mask are welcome to do so. Hand-washing and sanitation are encouraged, with high-touch areas still being cleaned frequently. Social distancing will not be enforced.
The Fall 2021 semester begins August 23. For more details, head to www.lourdes.edu.
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