OSU will not require students to get COVID-19 vaccine to return in fall

Adriana Gutierrez, City Editor

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that the University of Oregon would be requiring its students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to return to its campus. This has been corrected in the story.

Oregon State University’s Coronavirus Response Team has issued that COVID-19 vaccines will not be required for students to come back to campus for in-person learning in the fall. 

The University of Oregon is not currently mandating that its staff, students and faculty will need a vaccine to return to its campus in the upcoming fall term. All Oregonians above the age of 16 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as of April 19.

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In the statement released on April 21, OSU’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dan Larson highlighted several points supporting the university’s decision. These included a recommendation by the Oregon Health Authority to not implement a vaccination requirement, state and federal laws that allow exemptions for vaccinations for health or medical reasons and the lack of a federal system that confirms whether or not someone has received the vaccine. 

“We do not currently believe requiring proof of vaccination would aid in our shared objective to promote trust and adoption of vaccines,” Larson said in the statement released by OSU’s COVID-19 response team. “Nor do we believe that such a requirement will increase appreciably the share of OSU community members obtaining vaccinations beyond what can be achieved through education and expanding access.” 

Larson also noted the high rates of vaccinations amongst residents in Benton, Lincoln, Multnomah and Deschutes counties, citing the CDC’s research that one-third of adults in these counties are vaccinated even prior to the extended vaccine eligibility on April 19.