BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to the Erie County Department of Health, about 60% of Erie County residents are fully vaccinated.
“Yes, you may get a breakthrough infection, but you know what, you’ll be inconvenienced for a day or two. But you’re still going to be alive,” Dr. Nancy Nielsen from the UB Jacobs School of Medicine said.
Now, with the start of school, there’s concern about a fall spike. The University at Buffalo welcomed students back to campus one week ago, and they say 99% of their students are vaccinated, that’s the highest rate in the SUNY school system.
“I feel safer here knowing we are all vaccinated,” UB student Abigaelle Toussaint said.
“I think it’s great that we’re coming back to a crowded but safe environment,” UB student Nicholas Hazel said.
With the recent FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, students at UB are now required to show proof of vaccination to attend in person classes.
“I feel like it could be discomforting to people who want to live on campus but now they can’t because they don’t want to get vaccinated,” Toussaint said.
Abigaelle Toussaint is a junior at UB, she says the FDA approval combined with the university’s vaccine mandate pushed her to get the shot.
“At first I was anti-vax, like I really didn’t want to get vaccinated,” Toussaint said. “But when I really thought about it I was like this could be really helpful.”
In an email to students, UB said anyone who fails to meet vaccine deadlines will be withdrawn from all classes with an in-person component and will not be refunded tuition for them.
“Demanding everyone to be in person or mostly in person and not have a vaccine just seems like a good way to have COVID spikes,” Hazel said.
“I think the only way we’re going to stop the virus is for more and more mandates,” Dr. Nielsen said.
Right now, UB’s COVID-19 dashboard shows three positive COVID-19 cases on campus in the past 14 days. UB says they will also require indoor masking and will continue surveillance testing.
“It’s nice seeing everyone back, it’s nice seeing everything being more normal,” Hazel said.