Boilermakers eager to receive COVID-19 vaccine, survey shows

Members of the Purdue community overwhelmingly are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible to do so, based on results of a survey sent to all West Lafayette faculty, staff and students by the Purdue COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Task Force. 

More than 26,700 students, faculty and staff affiliated with the West Lafayette campus responded to the survey, conducted Feb. 23-March 5, that was designed to help gauge campus demand for and perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 80% of respondents reporting they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or plan to do so when eligible and approximately 10% undecided.

In particular, although 74% of respondents reported they were not yet eligible to receive the vaccine under Indiana Department of Health guidelines at the time of the survey, more than 92% of that group indicated they plan to get the vaccine when they are able.

Additional survey results include:

  • 2,261 reported having scheduled a vaccination appointment, having received the first dose in a two-dose sequence or being fully vaccinated.
  • 10% of respondents reported they do not plan to receive the vaccine. 
  • 89% of staff respondents and 95% of faculty respondents said they plan to receive the vaccine when eligible.
  • 89% of undergraduate respondents and 96% of graduate and professional respondents said they plan to receive the vaccine when eligible.
  • Among all respondents who say they do not plan to get the vaccine, the top reasons provided are mistrust of the vaccine and a perception that the vaccine is unnecessary to the individual, in some cases because of a past COVID-19 diagnosis. 
  • The overall survey response rate was 47.4%, with the share of responses from students, faculty and staff consistent with their overall representation on campus.

“We were pleased, but not surprised, to see that so many Boilermakers are eager to take the next step in protecting Purdue by getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible to do so. Our campus community has persistently worked together over the past year to limit the spread of the virus on our campus, and the vaccine is the critical next step in helping us all get back to the most vibrant campus environment possible, something we all miss,” said Willie M. Reed, task force chair and dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Committed to continuously identifying and reinstating valued elements of campus life while protecting Purdue, University leadership and the Protect Purdue Medical Advisory Team are closely monitoring CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals and weighing possible changes to Protect Purdue protocols and requirements as individuals, and a greater percentage of our overall campus community, become fully vaccinated.

Three COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and effective by the FDA and are now available in the United States. Purdue is preparing to be a vaccine distribution site as soon as approval is given and supply is made available by the Indiana Department of Health. All Boilermakers are encouraged to receive a vaccination as soon as they are eligible to do so under IDOH guidelines at any vaccine distribution site in Indiana

Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana is changing often due to an increased national vaccine supply. Additionally, some members of the Purdue community who are not yet qualified under state eligibility guidelines may be eligible under federal guidelines to receive the vaccine now at federal pharmacy partner sites such as Meijer and Kroger/Payless in Indiana. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to watch for these vaccination opportunities and monitor their individual eligibility as we work together to protect ourselves, each other and the entire Purdue community.

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past should still get the vaccine. For now, individuals who have received the vaccine should continue to follow all Protect Purdue protocols, including wearing a face mask correctly and consistently, avoiding large gatherings, practicing social distancing and participating in surveillance testing. 

More Purdue information about the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine eligibility and the Purdue COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Task Force is available on the Protect Purdue website