Stockton University in New Jersey is one of hundreds of universities that require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. Students must provide proof of vaccination status to the university by August 1 or apply for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons.
Stockton students have an incentive to submit paperwork in advance: students who submit a vaccination certificate before July 8 are eligible to receive a painting to win a year of free tuition or room and board. University officials plan to Draw two more a month.
But just two weeks before the August 1 deadline, the proportion of students who submitted a vaccination certificate or exemption request hovered around one-third. Stockton officials report that so far, of the 3,500 students who have submitted documents, about 90% have provided proof of vaccination status, while about 10% have requested an exemption.
This makes the whereabouts of about two-thirds of the students unaccounted for. The unresolved question is whether these students will have to wait until the deadline is approaching to verify their vaccination status, or choose not to get vaccinated.
“Anyone who needs a vaccine faces a dilemma: How many people are vaccinated, and what do those who have not been vaccinated do next?” said Susan Davenport, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff of Stockton.
“We are very worried about disrupting and further affecting the education of these students, but we also believe in science very much, and we are committed to building an open and healthy campus,” Davenport said.
“Interestingly,” she said, “what we heard was that the students were waiting for us out. Are we serious?”
Stockton is working with the New Jersey Department of Health to link the university’s electronic health records with the statewide vaccination database. This will allow the university to better understand how many students who have not submitted a certificate have actually been vaccinated. Approximately 98% of the students in Stockton are from New Jersey, so it is a fair expectation that most vaccinated students will be vaccinated in the state.
At the same time, Stockton is not the only one facing the waiting game-and a little guessing game-what it will look like when it comes to complying with this new requirement.
Across the country, young people between the ages of 18 and 29 have Lowest COVID vaccination rate Any adult. A study published in Youth Health Magazine This week, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that nearly a quarter (24%) of young people aged 18 to 25 expressed hesitation about getting COVID vaccine, and their most common concerns centered on safety and possibility Side effects.
Officials from several other universities that require COVID-19 vaccination emphasized that it is too early to draw conclusions on the status of student vaccination.
“There are still a few weeks before the deadline,” said Joe Cardona, a spokesperson for Rowan University, the Public University of New Jersey. The student’s account is credited to the $1,000 vaccine. “As of now, about 30% of students have responded. This is normal when collecting documents of any kind. It was rushed at the beginning and the deadline was rushed.”
Jodi Bailey, vice president of student affairs, said that since New Jersey City University began collecting information about two weeks ago, about one-third of the university’s students have submitted vaccination certificates.
“I am very satisfied with the numbers I have received so far: in the past two weeks, we have 1,000 students submitting their paperwork every week,” Bailey said.
Frank Merckx, vice president of admissions and campus life, said that at Drew University, a private institution in the state, about half of the students had submitted COVID vaccination before the August 15 deadline. Proof or apply for an exemption.
“I’m not overly worried now,” Merckx said, noting that about 20% of the college’s population is an international population, and many people may not be able to get the vaccine. “If the pointer does not move at all in two weeks, many staff members will call and say,’You must hand over our paperwork.'”
Another variable will be the percentage of students who eventually request exemptions from different institutions.
Montclair State University, a public agency in New Jersey, reported that 70.6% of fall enrolled students provided proof of vaccination or were exempted. University spokesperson Andrew Mees said that only more than 300 of the approximately 18,000 students received medical or religious exemptions.
Seton Hall University, the Roman Catholic University, also located in New Jersey, requires students, faculty and staff to submit vaccination status statements. On Thursday, the university reported data on approximately 87.1% of the university community members, of which 74.9% reported that they had been fully vaccinated, 4.2% reported that they had received the first of two injections, 6.9% reported planned vaccination, and 14.1% Report that they will seek an exemption.
Some colleges, such as William Paterson University in New Jersey, have access to state-level immunization databases (and Stockton hopes to do the same) to gain a more comprehensive understanding of student vaccinations.
“So far, at William Paterson University, 61% of our students are fully or partially vaccinated, and this number is steadily increasing as expected,” University spokeswoman Mary Beth Zeman (Mary Beth Zeman) Say. “We have been able to access data from the New Jersey Immunization and Information System to verify who has been vaccinated; for those students whose data is not in the system, we have created a vaccination portal through which they can upload their vaccination cards.”
In Maryland – there The entire public university system needs vaccines For students, faculty and staff-Salisbury University officials are also connecting to the state-level health information exchange and immunization database.
“In order to collect information through these systems, we need students to fill out a consent form. We have not yet 100% agreed to these consents, which means that our information is not fully representative,” Salisbury spokesperson Tim Bu Lennan said. “We currently have information on more than 4,200 students from Maryland and Washington, D.C., and nearly 80% of them will live on campus this fall. Of these students, nearly 80% have been vaccinated. We have not yet Start collecting vaccination information for out-of-state students.”
The University of Maryland in Baltimore County expects its current student vaccination rate to be 79%, and this number comes from data it receives from the State Health Exchange.This Actual percentage The proportion of students who have submitted vaccine documents or exemption forms is 55%.
University spokeswoman Dinah Winnick said: “The difference between the expected rate and the recorded rate has prompted one of our current focus areas: encouraging students, faculty and staff to report on their vaccinations.” Winnick said that the university is developing A social media campaign designed by students-“Verification takes 5 times”-emphasizes how quickly and easily it is for students to verify their vaccination status. The university also organizes a $100 prize draw every week for food purchases, and a grand prize draw during the week of August 9th, offering students a $500 scholarship or providing employees with free parking permits.
Universities have all kinds of carrots and sticks to encourage compliance.
Dory Devlin, spokesperson for Rutgers University, New Jersey The first university in the country to announce COVID vaccine requirements – Said Rutgers University officials remind students that those who have not been vaccinated will not be able to attend classes. Students who provide vaccination documents are eligible to win one of the $50 and $500 gift cards from the campus technology store.
Devlin said that Rutgers University administrators estimated that more than 70% of students were vaccinated, but did not provide the percentage of documents actually transferred.
Wake Forest University, North Carolina A message was sent to students on Wednesday warning that if students did not submit a vaccination certificate or exemption application before August 1, the university would begin to remove students from registered courses and allocated housing.
The message stated: “We cannot guarantee that you will be able to re-register for the same course and get the same housing allocation after being removed.”
The deadline for Goucher College, a private university in Maryland, is Monday, July 12, and the deadline for students to submit vaccine documents is July 12. Aarika Camp, Goucher’s vice president of student affairs and student director, said she has not yet estimated the percentage of students who submit vaccination certificates.
Goucher will begin to suspend the accounts of students who have not submitted documents on Monday. Camp said that university administrators will also consider canceling students’ classes or canceling their housing assignments based on their personal communication with the college.
“I know that some schools are giving gifts to motivate vaccines,” Camp said. “Our motivation is to return to a safe and well-functioning campus, because we know our students want that kind of college experience. This is not a blow to anyone else, but this is the real carrot-owning many of them The college experience everyone wants.”