ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio University is now requiring all students, faculty and staff at all locations to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The announcement came Tuesday in a letter from President Hugh Sherman.
“Our commitment is to provide our students with the most normal college experience possible, but the reality is that as a nation, we are not as far as we hoped we would be in battling the pandemic,” Sherman said. “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.”
Sherman says everyone is expected to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.
The requirement 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.
“It's important to note, there will be an opportunity to apply for an exemption of the vaccine requirement for medical reasons or for reasons of conscience, including ethical and moral belief or sincerely held religious beliefs,” Sherman said.
The university recognizes the vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and vaccines currently approved under a Worth Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.
All students must be vaccinated or granted an exemption in order to participate in any spring semester in-person activities, including face-to-face instruction and residence life, at any location.
Students, faculty and staff will need to register proof of vaccination online.
“The vaccination is our best protection against COVID-19 and will ultimately help end the pandemic,” Sherman said. “If and when boosters are recommended, the university will update this policy to reflect those recommendations.”