KENT, Ohio (WKBN) – Kent State University announced Friday that it will require students and all non-union employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 20.
Exemptions will be considered for medical and religious reasons, according to Kent State University President Todd Diacon.
Diacon wrote in a letter that “with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and its expected approval of the Moderna vaccine next month, we now have an official acknowledgment that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at stopping the spread of this deadly virus.”
Diacon said the mandate is for the health and safety of the “Kent State family” and surrounding Northeast Ohio communities.
He said the requirement will be phased in over the fall semester to give everyone time to comply.
“Particularly those who were hesitant and waiting for full FDA approval before getting a shot,” Diacon wrote.
Negotiations are underway with union faculty and staff on the vaccine mandate with the intent to include them as well, Diacon said.
Phasing for the vaccine mandate includes the following plan:
- Phase 1
Beginning Sept. 1, we will expand our testing efforts to include sample testing of unvaccinated students living off campus and unvaccinated employees. Unvaccinated students in the residence halls will continue to be tested once a week.
- Phase 2
Beginning Nov. 1, all unvaccinated students in residence halls will be tested twice a week; all other unvaccinated students and unvaccinated employees will be tested once a week. This is particularly important as cold weather arrives and we spend more time indoors together.
- Phase 3
Effective Dec. 20, all students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots also may be required in the future.