Chancellor Continues to Urge Vaccinations


    Mandatory COVID testing takes place in Pine Hall for Pine and Oak Hall residents. PN Photo/ Andrew Thrift.

    Published September 9, 2021

    By Andrew Thrift

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug, 23, 2021.

    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty for the prevention of the COVID-19 disease in people 16 years and older. The vaccine will still be used under emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals 12 to 15 year olds.

    As of Friday, Sept. 8, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke had 15 current student cases, 8 employee, and 9 subcontractors bringing the current total to 32 total active cases after the first two weeks of having students back on campus. With the beginning of mandatory testing for unvaccinated on campus students every two weeks, Chancellor Cummings is beginning to crack down on the spread of COVID-19 here on campus.

    The chancellor announced in an email Friday that “Data from our entry testing program indicates a 49% vaccination rate among residential students. And of those who have responded to our vaccination survey to date, 87%— 1,623 students and 826 faculty and staff—indicate they are fully vaccinated.”

    To combat COVID-19, bi-weekly surveillance testing has been started for all unvaccinated students, and all faculty and staff starting September 1.

    “There are not yet any non-compliant students required to undergo surveillance testing,” said Jodi Phelps, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer for UNCP.

    “I’m thankful and glad about how cooperative everyone has been with returning to campus. And I do want to emphasize the real importance of vaccination to get through this surge. Since there is another variant on the rise, the Lambda variant, which we hope won’t do what the Delta variant has done,” Chancellor Cumming said.

    UNC Pembroke has also pushed incentives for students to get vaccinated. Offering a $100 Visa gift card to all students who are fully vaccinated, students who get vaccinated on campus will get a $50 gift card for each shot and be entered to win a new laptop or $500.

    “The bottom line is I am very pleased with the student cooperation and for all the students have done. We really really need to emphasize and encourage students to consider being vaccinated, since it is an individual choice at this point. Right now as your chancellor and as a physician, vaccination is the best opportunity to get this virus behind us and under control so we can go on to having a somewhat normal life,” added Chancellor Cummings.

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