OSU moves to mandate vaccines, but most local universities do not plan changes

Antioch College still the only local college mandating vaccines

Ohio State University is requiring all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but Wright State, Sinclair and University of Dayton and Miami said as of Wednesday they will continue to encourage, but not require, vaccines.

Ohio State mandated all students, staff and faculty to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday, the day after the Food and Drug Administration gave the Pfizer vaccine full approval.

The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least the first dose is Friday, Oct. 15, OSU said. The university said more than 73% of its campus is already vaccinated.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 244 into law on July 14, which prohibits public Ohio colleges and universities from mandating any individual get a vaccine not given formal approval from the FDA. The law is now moot.

Wright State spokesman Seth Bauguess said WSU is not planning to change its vaccine mandate, but said he believed the changes in OSU’s policy would likely be discussed at WSU.

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Bauguess said the university sent out its first fall survey Wednesday asking people to share if they have gotten at least one shot or plan to be vaccinated, versus do not plan to be vaccinated.

“That survey data should be helpful for our COVID Task Force as they consider things,” he said.

According to a survey that Wright State sent out in the spring, over 84% of students and employees that participated indicated that they had already been vaccinated or planned on getting vaccinated.

Wright State also has a mask mandate in place for its campus and plans to test students living in campus housing.

A spokesman for the University of Dayton said the school is continuing to encourage everyone to be vaccinated. UD has a mask mandate for its campus.

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“In addition to our commitment to the common good and the need to protect vulnerable populations, each of us can improve our individual immunity if we are fully vaccinated,” the UD spokesman said. “We will continue to carefully monitor pandemic conditions and the latest CDC and public health guidance.”

University of Dayton said its plans may change as conditions change.

UD set a goal in May of having 70% of students and staff fully vaccinated before the fall 2021 semester by July 1, which it has since met. UD is asking all employees and students to upload their vaccination record to the university’s confidential reporting portal to gauge the level of immunity on campus.

Sinclair Community College is not requiring students, faculty or staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but Cathy Petersen, a spokesman for the college, said the college continues to gather data and input from faculty, staff, leadership, and students, as well as health guidance from government officials, to determine the college’s path forward.

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Wittenberg University in Springfield announced Monday it will require all students and faculty to either submit proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing. The deadline to choose is today.

Cleveland State University was the first public university in Ohio to have a vaccine mandate. The university announced over the summer that anyone living in a dorm would be required to provide proof of vaccination status.

Locally, Antioch College is requiring all students to provide proof of vaccination before the fall term starts.

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