Lehigh University campus

Lehigh Partners With Bethlehem Health Bureau, Lehigh Valley Health Network, on Vaccination Initiatives

Approximately 62% of faculty and staff (including exempt, nonexempt, seasonal and hourly) responded to the survey and approximately 97% of respondents reported they already received the COVID vaccine.

As part of Lehigh’s efforts to encourage widespread vaccination, the university partnered with the Bethlehem Health Bureau to assess the overall vaccination rate of the campus community and with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to offer a convenient on-campus vaccination clinic on August 17. The second dose will be administered on campus on September 7.

“Vaccination continues to be the best way for us to ensure a safe and healthy campus, particularly with the rise of new and more transmissible variants of the virus,” said an email from the COVID Response Team. “We strongly encourage all faculty and staff to protect themselves, their loved ones and the broader community through vaccination.”

As part of the required immunizations, the university has required students to submit verification of COVID vaccination or to receive a religious or medical exemption by August 4. Students who upload their vaccination information or request an exemption by deadline will receive a free Lehigh T-shirt. Additionally, 2,000 students will receive a free cup of coffee from the Grind.

Faculty and Staff Vaccination Rates From Bethlehem Health Bureau Survey

The university shared a link to a voluntary anonymous survey from the Bethlehem Health Bureau (BHB), aiming to better understand the overall vaccination rate of our campus community.

Key Points (data reported as of July 29, 2021):

  • The BHB survey was voluntary, self-reported, and anonymous

  • 2590 faculty and staff (including exempt, nonexempt, seasonal and hourly) received an email with a link to the survey

  • 1605 (62%) faculty and staff responded to the survey

  • 1549 (97% of respondents) reported they already received the COVID vaccine

The university will include this information and student vaccination rates on the Lehigh COVID-19 Dashboard beginning Monday, August 9, 2021, following the deadline for students to upload verification.

“As the university prepares to fully resume campus activities and welcome students back, it continues to prioritize health and safety,” said Nathan Urban, interim president and provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The most important step we can take to maintain a healthy campus is to get vaccinated. Recent data show that more than 97% of all recent COVID-related hospitalizations are of unvaccinated people. Of the vaccinated people who have been hospitalized, more than about 75% were over 65.”

For those unable to attend the August 17 LVHN clinic or who plan to receive the vaccine sooner, COVID vaccines are now widely available throughout the Lehigh Valley. You can find additional locations here.