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A patient is being prepared to receive the vaccination inside one of the walk up tents. University of Oregon begins to distribute Vaccines to Students and Faculty on April 21, 2021. (Maddie Stellingwerf/Emerald)

The University of Oregon will require all students, faculty and staff who plan to be on campus this fall to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the start of the term on Sept. 27. Just like the other required immunizations, individuals will be able to request medical and non-medical exemptions. 

The science is clear: the COVID‑19 vaccine effectively eliminates the chances of death or serious illness in nearly all COVID‑19 infections,” said UO President Michael Schill in the May 10 announcement. “This decision is the most important thing we can do to safeguard our community and ensure our success as we come back together in person for fall term.”

The university was previously undecided on the vaccine requirement, saying there were “complex legal, logistical and equity challenges to adopting a vaccine requirement for everyone engaging in face-to-face activities at the UO.” However, after several public and private universities in Oregon and other states announced their fall vaccine requirements, UO quickly followed suit. 

The university will provide more information in the coming months about how students and employees will confirm that they have been vaccinated. 

Medical and non-medical exemptions include religious beliefs, wanting to wait for FDA approval and other personal reasons. More information about the exemptions is available on the COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ webpage. 

All Oregon residents ages 16 and older became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 19. UO provided more than 4,600 vaccines over the course of its four vaccine clinics, according to its vaccine distribution website, with second doses available in May.

Though Lane County Public Health still recommends making an appointment, walk-in appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine through LCPH were available from May 6 to May 9. Appointments and more information for upcoming walk-in clinics can be found on the LCPH website