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Springfield colleges report high vaccination rates

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:51 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - College vaccination rates in Springfield have exceeded vaccination rates elsewhere.

Almost half of Missourians are vaccinated against COVID-19, but 77% of students on Drury’s campus are fully vaccinated. Missouri State University also reports a high vaccination rate, with 63% of on-campus students reporting they are vaccinated.

“I really think the students came back really wanting to take care of our community and be a good institutional citizen,” said Dr. Tijuana Julian, Dean of Students. “So I’m sure that incentives helped, but I don’t think it was the driving force that really causes students to tip the edge, whether they’re going to be vaccinated or not. Incentives were just a way for the university to reward those that are getting vaccinated.”

Both Universities are offering incentives to students who got the shot. MSU will give one student one year of free tuition and on-campus housing. Drury Students promised an extra day of fall break once 70% of students were vaccinated.

“I think it’s great,” said Drury Graduate Student Corbin Zaldivar. “I think we’re all on the same page. When you get a bunch of people that are on the same page, it makes things a lot easier.”

Students say the prizes may have helped some decide to get vaccinated; that wasn’t the only reason.

“I think in the end, everybody really just kind of wants to be done with COVID,” said Drury Freshman Drew Findley. “So I think the vaccine is just what helps us with that. I chose to get vaccinated because I had gotten quarantined twice from soccer. I had missed a lot of soccer games in high school, And I was ready to be done. I was told if I had gotten the vaccine, I wouldn’t have to quarantine anymore for the time being. So that was the biggest factor for me.”

Only 35% of Evangel University students are fully vaccinated. Ozarks Technical Community College is not tracking the vaccination rate of students. Neither of these schools is offering prizes to vaccinated students.

Vaccination rates are also high among faculty and staff. So far, 91% of Evangel teachers and 79% of faculty at MSU are vaccinated against COVID-19.

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