COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State President Kristina Johnson announced Tuesday that students, faculty and staff have a deadline for COVID-19 vaccination, with a first dose by Oct. 15.
For people receiving two doses, the second dose must be taken by Nov. 15. And students who refuse might be subject to discipline, according to OSU’s website.
“Well they basically require vaccinations for other diseases and viruses, so I think it was only a matter of time, said Freshman Nathan Sedlemeier, adding this wasn’t a surprise to him.
While sophomore James Sanco says, “I’m a little concerned because I’m more worried about them having another booster that they mandate.”
The vaccination requirement mirrors that of the university’s Wexner Medical Center.
Freshman Sadie Sheridan said she’s in favor of the vaccine requirement, especially after her senior year of high school.
“I had high hopes for college so this giving me a little extension of hope because it’s now like we’re going to be able to do more stuff,” she said.
If an individual does not either receive their first dose of vaccine or approval of an exemption by the Friday, October 15 deadline, the individual may be subject to progressive disciplinary action, the website says under Frequently Asked Questions: What if I do not get either a COVID-19 vaccine or an exemption by the October 15, 2021 deadline?
Consequences for vaccine refusal
This means that beginning in Spring 2022, existing students who don’t get vaccinated won’t be able to participate in on-campus experiences, in-person classes, or live in residence halls. New students will be subject to the same vaccination requirements.
Faculty and staff who are not in compliance will find they aren’t able to log into their OSU portals or have email access, and they will be subjected to further discipline as well, the site says.
There personal, health, and religious exemptions which will be outlined in the coming days, according to the FAQ section label: What exemptions are allowed under this policy?
“More than 73% of our community has had at least one shot already, and this step will further protect us all.” said Johnson in an open letter. “We also stand the best chance of continuing to enjoy the traditions that we love throughout the academic year with higher vaccination rates in our campus community.”
Reasons for the decision
Johnson cited the rise in the delta variant, which is creating a surge and more hospitalizations, as well as the full approval on Monday to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“With Monday’s news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Ohio State will now require every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” part of the letter read.
With full approval from the FDA, Ohio State was able to move forward on a vaccine mandate. In July, Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill into law that included a provision prohibiting schools and universities from requiring vaccines that had only received emergency use authorization.
When he signed the bill, a spokesperson for DeWine said, “We are confident that these vaccines, proven repeatedly to be very safe and very effective, will be approved by the FDA, thus rendering this issue moot.”