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Over half of UK students and employees are vaccinated

Posted at 4:12 PM, Apr 19, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On the University of Kentucky's campus, it's hard to find a student that has not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

Outside of health care, there are about 19,000 faculty, staff and students who work at the University of Kentucky's campus. Of that number, the university says 78% percent of faculty, 64% of staff and more than half of their students have been vaccinated or are on their way to being vaccinated.

Julia Keisling is one of those students.

"I wanted to be able to like make UK feel safer and that's like one less person that could get COVID and spread it," said Keisling.

She's also anticipating being able twirl with her fellow majorettes on the football field this fall.

"I think a lot of students are being proactive to this and really want to be able to get things back to normal," said Keisling.

University officials are anticipating a return to a more normal campus life this fall.

"Clearly, the ability and the capacity to vaccinate so much of our campus will make is a huge step in ensuring the health and safety of our entire community as we head back in the fall," said Spokesperson Jay Blanton. "Our hope is that it looks a lot more like all 2019 when you had as many in-person classes as possible. So you know, maybe hopefully that would be north of 90% in-person. That's what I think it's shaping up to look like, where your residence halls are not decompressed as they have been in this past fall."

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says their vaccination numbers also have implications on the greater community and are contributing to community-wide immunity.

"It's important for the people of Lexington and central Kentucky to remember that the students at UK are not just in a bubble at UK. They're working in our stores, our restaurants. They are being part of the community. They're active members of the community. So the protection from the students goes a long way toward the protection to Lexington residents as a whole," said spokesperson Kevin Hall.

The university has also invited more than 21,000 admitted students and their families to register for a vaccine even if they don't attend this fall.

As of April 8, UK has administered 200,000 doses since receiving it's first shipment. They are not yet considering mandating COVID-19 vaccines for people on campus.