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UC announces vaccine mandate for students, staff

University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati(FOX19 NOW)
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 8:28 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 9:29 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The University of Cincinnati is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the university’s website.

The deadline to get at least the first vaccine dose is Oct. 15.

For those getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, they must have the second dose by Nov. 15, the school announced.

“To safeguard the campus, and in responses to the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the University of Cincinnati is requiring faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the school’s website reads.

Students and staff needing to get the vaccine can stop by the UC Health COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center Tuesday through Saturday. The center is located at 3120 Burnet Ave., Suite 105.

Making an appointment in advance is recommended, but not required.

Proof of vaccination can be submitted through the web-based version of the UC COVID Check app. [Click here to submit vaccine documentation]

UC President Neville Pinto announced the new policy in a letter to the “Campus Community.”

As we have all along, university leaders continue to follow the scientific data and listen to medical experts from our Academic Health Center to enact measures to support the health of our community. These experts have made it clear that COVID-19 cases are rising at a concerning rate both locally and nationally.

In response to last week’s full FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the University of Cincinnati will require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The university is taking this step to promote the health and safety of our university community. Research shows vaccines are the most effective form of protection against COVID-19.

The deadline for all UC students, faculty and staff to have at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is October 15, 2021. Those receiving a two-dose sequence must have received the second dose by November 15, 2021. All World Health Organization endorsed vaccines, including those in the U.S. made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, will fulfill the vaccine requirement. Booster shots may also be required in the future.

The vaccination requirement will apply to students, faculty and staff members who come to campus for their classes, work and/or otherwise use campus facilities. There will be an opportunity to request an exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical reasons, sincerely held reasons of conscience or religious beliefs.

Members of the campus community who are not vaccinated by the above deadlines will be required to be tested weekly. Students who do not achieve and share fully vaccinated status (which requires two weeks after final dose) or do not receive an exemption by Spring semester will be unenrolled from Spring semester classes. Faculty and staff who are not vaccinated by the above deadlines and who are not approved for an exemption will be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable UC policy and collective bargaining agreements.

Our focus continues to be the wellbeing of our community. We believe this step best positions our university to meet the needs of our campus community. To put it simply, the higher our vaccination rate, the less disruption we anticipate to our academic mission and the better we expect to be able to deliver a more dynamic campus experience.

We have taken time to engage our campus and review the feedback that has been shared from faculty, staff and students regarding the idea of requiring a vaccine. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to convey their thoughts on the matter, from undergraduate to graduate students, to our faculty and staff via their governance bodies, as well as the collective bargaining units that have partnered with administration, to help us reach a decision. It is important to us to listen to our community, and there is strong support for this requirement.

Still, it isn’t lost on me that some in our UC community hold a different opinion. Please know the decision to require a vaccine does not come easily, and I recognize that deeply personal reasons impact your thoughts and choices around this topic. As we move forward, we will continue to emphasize the common good while also listening closely to all of our communities.

Listening to one another is crucial, even if we disagree. The more we truly listen, the more we will unite over our common values rather than divide over polarizing issues. We have a long road ahead during this unpredictable pandemic, and it will be a journey best travelled caring for one another.

I am sure that you may have questions, and we have updated our Public Health website with an FAQ on this matter. You may also call 513-556-2658 to reach our COVID-19 hotline.

Thank you for doing your part to safeguard our campus community.

UC is now the latest university in Ohio to announce vaccine mandates.

Ohio and Miami universities will require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless otherwise exempt.

Xavier and Ohio State are also enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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