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OSU Releases Preliminary Vaccination Rates Ahead Of Friday Deadline

Ohio State employees wait for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete
Associated Press

Ohio State University officials released preliminary COVID-19 vaccination rate numbers for staff, students and faculty, ahead of its first-dose reporting deadline on Friday.

Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson wrote in an email that as of Thursday, more than 86% of students, staff, and faculty have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes 87% of all students.

The current rate is a little over ten percent higher than when the university first mandated its vaccine requirement at the end of August when it was at 73% university-wide. The university announced that students who do not get the first dose of the vaccine by Friday cannot come to or live on campus in the spring, and would have to take online classes.

Employees who do not get the vaccine could possibly lose access to their computers and email and could face further disciplinary action.

The deadline for students, staff, and employees to get their second dose of the COVID vaccine — for those with a two-dose vaccine — is Nov. 15.

Around 3,600 students and 2,000 employees have already requested exemptions for getting the vaccine, with around 200 being denied already. The denied requests, Johnson wrote, are largely due to missing documentation or completed forms. Individuals can resubmit their requests when they have them.

As for the rest of the exemption applications, Johnson said the requests are still being reviewed.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.