Dear OSU Faculty and Staff,
I write to update you on the university’s consideration of whether a COVID-19 vaccination will be a requirement within Oregon State University next academic year.
After extensive analysis and consultation with public health experts and authorities, OSU has decided to maintain its position of not requiring proof of vaccination for fall 2021 at this time. We do not currently believe requiring proof of vaccination would aid in our shared objective to promote trust and adoption of vaccines. 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. In Benton, Lincoln, Multnomah and Deschutes counties, CDC data indicate that over a third of adults are already vaccinated, even before the vaccines became available to all groups on April 19. The trend toward widespread vaccination is strong, and we thank you for doing your part.
We recognize that some colleges and universities have come to a different conclusion. OSU made its decision based on consideration of medical and public health concerns; the need to balance personal rights and responsibilities among different communities; the FDA-determined status of vaccines; and the feasibility of administration and enforcement.
Several points informed our decision:
With those issues in mind, OSU believes that the best tools to promote and protect public health are education of the benefits of vaccines, expanding access to vaccines, and continued adherence to protective measures like wearing face coverings. We will continue to evaluate possible appropriate uses of a vaccine requirement in the future, as well as for employees and students participating in specific higher-risk environments.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator