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Nearly 90% of Ohio State community is vaccinated

Overwhelming majority of students, faculty and staff got COVID-19 shots

More than 93,600 Ohio State students, faculty and staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine, supporting a university-wide effort to protect the health and safety of its campuses and communities.

In all, more than 89.8% of Ohio State community members have received a COVID-19 vaccine to date. On the Columbus campus, more than 90% of students have received at least one dose.

As part of a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 safety, Ohio State is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an exemption. The university set an Oct. 15 for individuals to receive at least their first dose and a Nov. 15 deadline to complete their series if they are receiving a two-dose vaccine.

“Thanks to the willingness of so many Buckeyes to get vaccinated, our campuses are healthier and we have been able to enjoy more of the in-person experiences that are so integral to Ohio State,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “We have collectively demonstrated what the science indicated: that vaccines are the best tool to both prevent serious illness and death and help us return to a sense of normalcy. I am thankful that our students, faculty and staff have stepped up to protect the communities where we live, work and engage. Looking out for one another and giving back is what we do – the very foundation of our mission as a land-grant institution.”

Beyond promoting vaccination, the university’s comprehensive COVID-19 response includes testing thousands of students weekly, a robust contact tracing program that allows early intervention, and safety protocols such as indoor masking. The university’s response is detailed on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Reflecting all of these efforts, average seven-day positivity rates among students were less than 0.5% as the university marked its autumn break Oct. 14-15. Positivity rates declined steadily after peaking at 3.4% on Sept. 1.

“Students, faculty and staff have responded to the challenge of these times by taking action to promote the health of the entire community,” said Melissa Shivers, senior vice president for student life and a co-chair of the university’s COVID-19 response team. “The high rate of vaccination clearly demonstrates our Buckeye community’s commitment.”

Ohio State has provided an exemption process from the vaccination requirement based on medical, religious and personal reasons. The university has received 5,988 exemption requests from students, faculty and staff, and the review process is continuing for those filed in recent days. To date, about 233 exemption requests have been denied – largely because of missing documentation or incomplete forms. Those individuals have been notified that they can resubmit their requests with proper documentation.

Information about the university’s vaccination requirement is posted on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website, which includes a dashboard that details current vaccination, positivity and quarantine data.

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