PFW talks vaccination clinics and mask mandates

Coronavirus

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A lot of progress has been made this month on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana. On Wednesday, Hoosiers 16 and older will be eligible for their shots.

With about about 6,000 students and 1,500 faculty and staff, Purdue University Fort Wayne has a lot of heads to consider.

“We are currently strongly recommending all students, staff, and faculty receive the COVID vaccine as soon as their eligible,” said Jeff Malanson, PFW’s COVID-19 spokesman.

“All the data shows how effective the vaccines are and they also show how safe those vaccines are,” he continued. “The vaccine is really the most important step to getting our campus generally back to a closer state of normal.”

They’re in talks with the Allen County Health Department about setting up a vaccine clinic on campus.

“We don’t have specific information yet,” Malanson said. “We’re not in a position yet to make any announcements or anything like that. We can’t guarantee we’re going to be able to pull it off or make it happen.”

They’re hoping they can pull it off, though. The university is also considering tracking who gets the vaccine.

“We are currently talking about options for doing that and the best approaches to doing that,” Malanson explained. “We want to have as much data available to us to help make the best informed decisions as we move forward. So, we are continuing to investigate what the appropriate way of structuring a self-reporting mechanism would be.”

On April 6, Indiana’s state’s mask mandate will become an advisory. PFW will keep their mask requirement on campus.

“We will keep that mask mandate in place after the statewide mandate turns into an advisory,” Malanson said. “Until we get to a point where the overwhelming majority are not just eligible to be vaccinated but have actually had an opportunity to be fully vaccinated, we think it’s incredibly important that keep those health and safety protocols in place.”

PFW is keeping masks a requirement until the end of the spring semester at the minimum. Then after that they’ll seek guidance from the CDC and state and Allen County health departments on the matter.

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