At least seven fully-vaccinated students at Stanford University have tested positive for coronavirus.
Officials at the elite school in California’s Bay Area reported the breakthrough infections in a letter to students on Thursday.
They said all of the cases were confirmed in the last week and all seven students were symptomatic.
‘As you have seen in the national news, cases of COVID-19 have been ticking upward,’ officials wrote in the letter.
‘We are seeing some of this in our own community, where we are experiencing an increase in the number of student COVID cases, including among fully vaccinated individuals.’
Stanford is among nearly 600 universities and colleges nationwide that have required students and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming back to campus this fall.
The school is enforcing its mandate by requiring proof of vaccination status and says it will offer exemptions for religious or medical reasons on a case-by-case basis.
Less than three percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are vaccinated, according to the CDC, and only 1,063 deaths have been reported among vaccinated people.
However there are fears that vaccines may not be as effective at battling new more contagious strains of the virus, including the Delta variant wreaking havoc nationwide.
At Stanford, officials have stressed the importance of vaccination while continuing to require face coverings across all open spaces on its 8,180-acre campus.
‘Vaccinations are effective at preventing severe illness. However, we need everyone to be vigilant,’ officials wrote in Thursday’s letter. ‘The variants remain of concern.’
According to the school’s dashboard, some 8,300 students are fully vaccinated and 330 are partially vaccinated.
The school recently loosened its coronavirus testing requirements, allowing for vaccinated students and staff to stop submitting to weekly tests and daily check-ins if they provide proof of vaccinations.
All undergraduate students preparing to return to campus this fall are required to submit proof of vaccination by July 23.
Anyone who misses that deadline will be barred from enrolling in classes.
Stanford’s announcement about breakthrough cases could serve as fuel in the growing controversy over university vaccine mandates around the country.
As of Friday 592 US schools both public and private have imposed such mandates, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
While schools contend that they are merely protecting their communities, critics say the mandates represent a violation of personal freedom and called the efficacy of the vaccines themselves into question.
Eight states have passed laws blocking colleges from requiring vaccinations: Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Arizona and Utah.
This is an excerpt from the Daily Mail.
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