WSU reports nearly 90 percent of employees, 95 percent students are vaccinated

PULLMAN, Wash. — As the deadline approaches for public school and state workers, Washington State University says nearly 90 percent of its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The rate for students is even higher.

“Our vaccination rates are high, and we know it’s the path that gets us through this pandemic,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “With a critical state deadline approaching for our employees, we’ve sought to work through pockets of hesitancy and uncertainty with compassion and understanding but with a firm commitment to making sure we’re doing everything possible to deliver a robust in-person educational experience.”

As of Tuesday, out of 10,000 employees systemwide, preliminary data showed 88 percent were fully or partially vaccinated. Student vaccination rates across the university’s five campuses are reported to be more than 95 percent. WSU said the Pullman and Spokane campuses top the list at 98 percent each.

WSU employees were required to verify their vaccine status by Oct. 4 to be considered fully vaccinated by the deadline or had to submit exemption requests by that day. This would give the university time to evaluate the requests ahead of the deadline.

Students had to submit their vaccine status or apply for exemption by Sept. 10. WSU said percentages vary by campus and are still growing as compliance efforts continue.

Compared to a year ago, WSU said infection rates involving the Pullman campus have declined. Last fall, the WSU Pullman community confirmed 526 cases from Aug. 30 – Sept. 12. This year, WSU says that number during the same time dropped to 121.

Under Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate, all state employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or have an exemption for medical reasons or religious beliefs. Those who don’t meet the requirements will lose their jobs.

WSU said students, faculty and staff sent in more than 1,250 exemption requests. So far, nearly 800 requests have been approved. Final numbers will be available after Oct. 18.

You can find more preliminary vaccination data for each campus here.

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