Oakland University is requiring all students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID vaccine in order to attend in-person courses and activities.
The university’s decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
Anyone who hasn’t received their first dose of the COVID vaccine must do so by Sept. 3. They must receive their second shot for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines by Oct. 1.
All campus community members must upload their vaccination status by these deadlines through the Graham Health Center secure patient portal, where their individual information will be kept confidential.
The new rules require all faculty and staff members working on campus and at off-site locations to be vaccinated.
“I am so very proud of how the Oakland University community has weathered the past 18 months of the COVID pandemic,” OU President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said. “It is a tribute to your individual and our community’s collective perseverance, determination and resilience. But, unfortunately, the national and international health crisis is not over. This will continue to require more of each of us. To protect yourself, your family and your community, you must get vaccinated and wear your mask.”
“From January to July of 2021, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for a staggering 98% of COVID cases, 95% of hospitalizations and 96% of deaths,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.
The American College Health Association and other national public health organizations have strongly recommended that university-wide vaccination rates be as close to 100% as possible.
The University of Michigan, Albion College, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and Grand Valley State University are among the hundreds of institutions to announce mask mandates.
Requests for medical and religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement will be considered. Exempted individuals will be required to have frequent COVID testing, the university announced.
OU will continue to offer the $100 incentive for all students, faculty and staff who upload their data to the portal.
The expanded vaccination requirement will not supersede other infection prevention measures already in place, including that campus community members wear face masks inside all buildings.
Since students have to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes, the university is also working to expand the number of online course offerings.
“It is important that you listen and speak to one another respectfully,” Pescovitz said. “If you understand how vaccines are saving lives, please explain that to a friend, a colleague or a fellow student. The empathy you show others during this challenging period will serve you well in the future, even if it is not reciprocated today.”