Drury University debates requiring vaccine dose after low COVID-19 cases report

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Drury University said it credits its students and staff for there very low amount of cases of COVID-19 on its Springfield campus.

“We’ve gone 10 weeks with no asymptomatic positive cases on campus,” said David Hinson, Drury University executive, VP, COO and chief of staff. “We’ve had extremely low incidences of the disease this spring, primarily because we’ve had continuing strong mitigation efforts here on campus and a great level of cooperation of our students, faculty and staff.”

Hinson said Drury has seen such low numbers of COVID because of the culture on campus.

“Because of the commitment each of our students, each of our faculty, each of our staff has to creating a safe place live work and learn,” said Hinson. “Ten percent of our students are fully vaccinated, about 22% of staff are fully vaccinated and over half of the faculty are fully vaccinated. We may be slightly underreporting it simply because folks have not had time to go back to our self-reporting form.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, April 14, Greene County has fully vaccinated a fourth of its population.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department (SGCHD) said as more vaccine becomes available, supply isn’t outweighing the demand.

“We’re still seeing a lot of demand for the vaccine,” said Cara Erwin, SGCHD information and outreach manager. “Every day we’re vaccinating more people and that leaves fewer people who are demanding it, so we will get to the point where supply will outpace the demand but right now, we’re just in a really good place with having enough opportunities for everybody, but also not having a lot of doses left over.”

It’s still to be determined whether Drury will require a COVID-19 vaccine in the fall.

“We know a number of schools on the east coast have already said that they’re going to require that,” said Hinson. “We’re going to let the science inform us, as we have all year and look to the CDC to help us form those opinions so it remains to be seen what we will do in the fall.”

Hinson said they are hesitant because the current vaccines are all operating under emergency use authorization from the FDA instead of full authorization.

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