Pitt sees 10% increase in COVID-19 vaccine card submissions

By Natalie Frank, News Editor

Pitt officials said Thursday that more than three-quarters of all Pittsburgh campus undergraduate students have uploaded proof of vaccination against COVID-19, according to an email sent by the COVID-19 Medical Response Office.

According to the email, there has been a 10% increase in the number of Pitt affiliates who have uploaded proof of vaccination. While 74% of undergraduate students across all campuses are vaccinated, 48% of graduate students are, along with 66% of faculty and 69% of staff.

On the Pittsburgh campus, 77% of undergraduate students have reported their vaccination status. 95% of undergraduates living on campus and 56% of those living off campus submitted proof of vaccination. 69% of faculty and 71% of staff on the Pittsburgh campus have reported their vaccination status.

Pitt’s mandatory weekly testing begins Monday, with all members of the University community who are unvaccinated or have yet to disclose their vaccination status being required to comply with regular COVID-19 testing, as part of the University’s health guidelines.

The COVID-19 Delta variant, which is the predominant strain of the virus currently in the United States, is nearly twice as contagious as previous variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit which compiles health policy information, so-called “breakthrough” infections among people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are extremely rare. Based on state data analyzed by KFF, the breakthrough case rate is well below 1%, hospitalization rate ranged from effectively zero to 1% and the death rate was effectively zero.

In light of the federal government approving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Pitt said in the email that this “should continue to give people confidence in vaccinations as a safe and effective tool.”

Melissa McGivney, deputy director of the CMRO, associate dean for community partnerships and professor of pharmacy and therapeutics in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, commented in the email on the approval.

“Pfizer’s full approval is an important step in the fight against this public health crisis,” the email said. “All COVID-19 vaccines have been and remain safe and effective. We hope that with the formal approval of the Pfizer vaccine, more people will get vaccinated.”

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