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'The Best Shot We Have.' UK Aims For 80% Vaccinated Early This Fall

Karyn Czar

Amid an increasingly uncertain pandemic outlook heading into the fall, the University of Kentucky is launching an effort to exceed 80 percent vaccination on campus. 

"We want to do that early in the semester because that is the best shot we have, the best defense we have," UK spokesman Jay Blanton says. 

If the university falls short of that goal in the short term, or the situation change on the ground, the school says it won't hesitate to reinstate stricter masking rules. 

In either case, Blanton notes that students who haven’t received the shot will need to complete a number of steps their vaccinated peers won’t.

"If you're a student and you're unvaccinated, you're going to have to take an entry test when you come back to campus this fall and you're going to be testing on a regular basis like we had students test on a regular basis last school year," the spokesman says.  

For now, a vaccine mandate is not being discussed, but the school is keeping the option on the table. The school is also reminding those students who have been vaccinated during the summer break to upload that documentation to UK’s system.

Classes are set to begin August 23.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.