EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon will require that students and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming on campus for the fall term, administrators announced Monday. UO joins a growing list of Oregon colleges with a similar requirement, including Oregon State University, Portland State University, and Western Oregon University.
"The requirement will help us to reach the highest level of protection possible, reduce infections and protect the health and safety of our university community and the communities we serve," UO said in a statement.
People will be able to request exemptions for both medical and non-medical reasons — including religious, philosophical, or other personal reasons.
The vaccination requirement applies to all students and employees who learn, work, or live on the UO campuses and property. They must be fully vaccinated before the fall 2021 academic term begins.
Administrators said that they consulted with experts and stakeholders before making the decision, basing it on data that shows the COVID-19 vaccine effectively eliminates the risk of death or serious illness from coronavirus in the vast majority of infections.
"This announcement today is designed to provide us with ample time to work with our stakeholders on important implementation details," said UO President Michael Schill. "As the policy is finalized we will provide additional information about how students and employees can confirm they have been vaccinated or request exemptions."