CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University announced Tuesday that it intends to require students and staff be vaccinated for COVID-19 to be on campus during the fall term, joining a growing list of U.S. colleges mandating inoculations.
“As we advance our plans to resume traditional on-site and in-person activities for the 2021-22 academic year, high rates of vaccination among our students, faculty and staff are needed to help improve the safety and well-being of our community,” said Interim President Becky Johnson. “This vaccination requirement is intended for students and university employees so that we mutually contribute to the greatest level of population protection possible from COVID-19.”
Private Oregon colleges like Lewis & Clark College and Willamette University announced in April that they would require the vaccine, while public northern neighbors the University of Washington and Washington State University recently said that they would do the same. OSU is the first public Oregon university to follow suit.
Online-only OSU students and others who do not visit OSU campuses will not be required to get vaccinated, but university officials said that they strongly encourage that step.
"OSU’s vaccination requirement plans were informed by state and federal guidance related to vaccines, advice from public health experts, and guidance from other organizations, such as the American College Health Association," the school said in a statement.
Administrators said that they are working to implement a vaccination program, promoting education about the vaccine and working on vaccine availability. Once the vaccine requirement policy is finalized, the administration said that it would share more details about how students and staff will confirm that they've been fully vaccinated, or how they can "request an allowable exemption."
"Discussions with students, employees, Faculty Senate leadership and unions will continue through the summer," OSU said.