University of Michigan: 55% of Ann Arbor students vaccinated

U-M launches new dashboard with school vaccine data

A student works at the Michigan Union on Jan. 13, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan announced on Tuesday that 55 percent of its students set to return to the Ann Arbor campus in the fall have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The update is part of the school’s new vaccination dashboard that tracks the number of students who’ve received the vaccine.

The Ann Arbor Student Self-Reported Vaccination dashboard is refreshed daily and the university says it “verifies the self-reported information for accuracy.”

As of July 5, more than 27,330 students had reported they were fully vaccinated.

Faculty and staff can also report their vaccine status via the Wolverine Access and are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. More than 16,700 employees have submitted their vaccine information since June 17.

As of July 6, an additional 4,367 records of students and staff were waiting to be verified by the school.

“The vaccine has been shown to be safe and very effective, even against variant strains of the virus,” associate vice president of student life and director of Campus COVID Response Robert Ernst said in a release. “Having most students vaccinated is the most important means toward a more normal and healthy learning environment.

“It is recommended even for those who have already been infected with COVID to provide longer lasting immunity.”

Last week, the university launched an incentive program to encourage self-reporting of vaccine information among students and employees that includes prize giveaways. Prizes include cash, a one-year membership to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, tickets to a U-M football suite and a backstage tour of a major production from the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

U-M officials have yet to make final decisions for the upcoming fall semester as they monitor the self-reported vaccination rate among students. According to a release, the university may lift the mask requirement in classrooms if community COVID cases remain low and if more than 75 percent of students are fully vaccinated.

While face coverings are still required indoors, fully vaccinated individuals who have reported their status are generally exempt from such requirements. Face covering requirements are also in place on campus transportation and in health care settings where patients could be present.

The new dashboard is based on an average of 47,000 students, which is an average of the Ann Arbor fall enrollment figures over the past five years. The dashboard also tracks Washtenaw County’s vaccination rate, which currently stands at 63.5 percent.

All students are asked to self-report their vaccination status by July 16. This also includes reporting that they do not consent to share their status. Students who decline to share their vaccination status must undergo weekly COVID testing when they return to school in the fall through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.