Ohio University is the latest school to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine among students, faculty, and staff, according to a letter from school President Hugh Sherman.
“Public health experts are tracking an increase in cases in Ohio and on our campuses due to the extremely contagious Delta variant, and we need to do everything we can to continue to show our care and respect for one another and do our part to help keep the entire community safe and healthy,” the letter says.
“Therefore, after thoughtful consideration, in consultation with public health experts and in agreement with many of our peer institutions across the state, all OHIO students, faculty, and staff at all locations are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15, 2021,” the letter continued. “For vaccines that require two doses, both doses must be completed by this date. This applies to all employees, including those working remotely and all students except those enrolled exclusively in fully online programs and coursework who will not access University facilities on any campus in person.”
Like most vaccine mandate policies, there are exemptions for sincerely held religious and moral beliefs.
The letter said that students who do not receive the vaccine by November 15 will not be able to participate in in-person learning or on-campus activities during the spring semester. That means that for the fall, not all students will be immunized while Delta variant cases remain high.
However, some analysts have said that the Delta variant is currently reaching its peak, and that the caseload should begin declining soon.
The letter promised that there will be incentives for students who receive the vaccine prior to the deadline.
“The vaccination is our best protection against COVID-19 and will ultimately help end the pandemic,” the letter finished. “If and when boosters are recommended, the University will update this policy to reflect those recommendations.”
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