LEXINGTON, Ky. — Major universities around Kentucky are reporting relatively high COVID-19 vaccination rates among students, faculty and staff. 

What You Need To Know

  • University of Kentucky and University of Louisville above 90%

  • Statistics include students, faculty and staff

  • Partially or fully vaccinated counted among totals

  • Western Kentucky at 89%

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent an email Monday, Dec. 6, to the campus community praising the school for reaching the 90% mark for partial or full COVID vaccinations.

“Yes, we have more work to do, as always,” Capilouto said. “We should be gratified, but never satisfied, by our progress. This milestone is an incredible testament to what we can do as a community. We are a community that cares about each other and the state we serve.”

Capilouto said 87% of the university’s 34,000-plus students, 97% of the faculty and 93% of staff at UK had been partially or fully vaccinated. He also encouraged eligible adults to receive a booster. 

“All fully vaccinated adults 18 and older living, or working in Kentucky who are at least six months past their second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or at least two months past their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to receive a booster,” he said. “I encourage you to schedule one before the holidays if you are eligible.”

Capilouto also addressed vaccine mandates put in place by the Biden administration, saying the school is monitoring the legal developments. 

“I want to clarify, though, that regardless of the status of these different provisions, the policies at the university level with respect to vaccines remain in place,” he said. “Vaccines are mandatory for most UK HealthCare employees, unless they have received an exemption. And our policy on campus — for employees and staff who come to campus — is to be vaccinated, or tested on a weekly basis.”


Data from the University of Louisville also shows promising vaccination rates. As of Wednesday, Dec. 8, 93.3% of staff, 92.8% of faculty and 91% of the school’s 22,640 students have been either partially or fully vaccinated. 

“As we move toward the end of another successful semester, we would like to applaud the efforts of our entire campus community for taking the necessary steps to keep our university safe during these challenging times,” said Lori Stewart Gonzalez, UofL provost and executive vice president. “With a vaccination rate over 90% and adherence to health and safety protocols, we have kept the impact of COVID-19 on our campuses at a minimum. We have so much to celebrate as we approach the winter break.”

UofL has had 324 positive cases out of 9,363 tests since Aug. 16. 

Western Kentucky University, with an enrollment of 20,171, reports 8,683 students, faculty and staff have self-reported their vaccination status as of Friday, Dec. 10, and 89% of respondents claim to be either partially or fully vaccinated. Counts include all WKU students, faculty, and staff regardless of whether the individual lives on campus, or has physically been on campus.

“WKU’s highest priority has always been the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said Timothy Caboni, WKU president. “Vaccines remain one of the strongest deterrents to viral transmission and serious symptoms or complications.”

Northern Kentucky University uses a color code to manage vaccination information. Although campus-specific details are unavailable, the school is currently in “code yellow,” which indicates between 70-84% of on-campus faculty, staff and students have been either partially or fully vaccinated. 

NKU students, faculty and staff are asked to report their vaccination status on the MyNKU app. According to the school’s COVID dashboard, only vaccination statuses reported by members of the NKU community who take courses on campus, teach classes face-to-face, or work on campus are included in the published statistics; those who are attending classes or working fully remotely are excluded.