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Ohio Dominican requiring students, faculty to receive COVID-19 vaccine

The requirement includes students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Dominican University announced Tuesday that members of its campus community will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The requirement includes students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15. This also includes all individuals, including those who learn and work remotely.

According to the university, a recent survey found 80% of respondents said they were fully vaccinated. President Connie Gallaher, a registered nurse for more than 40 years, said more needs to be done.

“ODU is taking this step because vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against COVID-19. While 97% of faculty respondents to our recent survey indicated they are fully vaccinated, only 75% student respondents said they are fully vaccinated, and that number drops to 64% of residential student respondents,” Gallaher said. “The survey also found that 64% of respondents who indicated that they are not fully vaccinated do not intend to get the vaccine this fall. It is incumbent upon us as a university founded in faith, service, justice and commitment to the common good that we do everything possible to foster a culture of care and protect all members of our campus family.”

Dr. Nicole Powell, a clinical immunologist who serves as an assistant professor, says the mandate is necessary due to the surging cases and hospitalizations throughout Ohio and the country.

“With the overwhelming majority of those currently hospitalized being those who are unvaccinated, the data shows quite clearly that vaccines dramatically decrease your chances of experiencing significant illness or death from COVID-19,” Dr. Powell said. “We also know that the vaccine can help to protect others since vaccinated individuals transmit COVID-19 at lower levels than those who are unvaccinated. There has been a significant amount of evidence gathered throughout the various vaccine trials and collected over these past eight months, all of which has shown without question that these vaccines are extremely safe and effective. It is time to lean into this science to help get us through this pandemic. This is the right thing to do to protect ourselves, each other, and those who are closest to us.”

Individuals may request a medical or religious exemption for the vaccination requirement to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The university will also keep in place its indoor mask mandate. More information about the university’s vaccine policy can be found online.

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