MADISON, Wis. - Nine out of 10 people on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, including faculty, staff and students, are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, the university reported Thursday.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank said she was proud of the impressive numbers, which are far ahead of the statewide average. Only 62% of adults were fully vaccinated statewide as of Wednesday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
"Our high level of vaccination means that we have a robust level of protection on campus and fewer members of our community will experience severe infections caused by COVID-19, compared to areas with lower vaccination rates," Blank said in a statement.
The university reported the numbers a week before classes were set to begin on the campus that is home to about 45,000 students and roughly 24,000 faculty and staff.
As of Wednesday, UW-Madison said 88% of students were fully vaccinated, 99% of faculty were fully vaccinated and 92% of all employees, including faculty, were fully inoculated. Among students living in dorms, 92% were fully vaccinated.
The data is comparable to vaccination rates reported by other Big Ten universities.
The high vaccination rate shows how seriously the university community is taking the threat of COVID-19, said Dr. Jim Conway, a professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine & Public Health and UW Health pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases.
"Badgers have shown that they trust the science," he adds. "I continue to hope that more members of our state will follow our lead, as it is clear that vaccines are the best tool for controlling and ultimately ending this pandemic."