IU President tests positive for COVID-19

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana University’s new president Pamela Whitten, despite being fully vaccinated, announced Thursday she tested positive for COVID-19.

Pamela Whitten

Whitten was tested Thursday morning after experiencing mild cold-like symptoms.

“While the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, I am so grateful to be protected from more serious symptoms,” Whitten wrote in an email to the IU community.

Whitten also is encouraging others to get vaccinated.

In studies, the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna were around 95 percent effective at preventing illness, while the one-shot Johnson & Johnson shot was 72 percent effective, though direct comparisons are difficult. So while the vaccines are very good at protecting people from the virus, it’s still possible to get infected with mild or no symptoms, or even to get sick.

If you do end up getting sick despite vaccination, experts say the shots are very good at reducing the severity of the illness — the main reason to get vaccinated.

She explained that due to the mildness of her symptoms, she will be able to continue leading the university from her home office.

Whitten became the 19th president of IU on July 1, 2021.