Kent State University is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations over a multi-phase process through the Fall 2021 semester.
According to a Friday press release, Kent State President Todd Diacon states the school is implementing a vaccine requirement that will be “phased in over the fall semester to give everyone in the community the opportunity to get vaccinated, particularly those who were hesitant and waiting for full FDA approval before getting a shot.”
The requirement will apply to KSU students, faculty, and staff, with exemptions considered for medical and personal/religious reasons, although Diacon says the school is “currently engaged in positive and productive talks with the leadership for our union faculty and staff with the intent to include them as well.”
President Diacon added with the recent FDA approval of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine (and potential approval of the Moderna vaccine by September), “we now have an official acknowledgment that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at stopping the spread of this deadly virus.”
The school’s ‘Phase 1’ will begin on Sep. 1 with expanded testing efforts to include sample testing of unvaccinated students living off campus and unvaccinated employees, with unvaccinated students in the residence halls will continue to be tested once a week.
‘Phase 2’ will begin on Nov. 1 with all unvaccinated students in residence halls to be tested twice a week, and all other unvaccinated students/employees to be tested once a week.
Finally, in ‘Phase 3’, all students and school faculty are required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 20. Booster shots may also be required in the future.
We all miss our pre-pandemic society, and we all are weary of COVID-19 and the toll it has taken on our lifestyle, our economy and our mental health,” Diacon added. “Therefore, we must do all we can to protect our fellow Flashes and our greater community.
The announcement from Kent State comes after Ohio State University announced on Tuesday it would require vaccinations for students and faculty. Cleveland State University and Xavier University have also announced vaccine mandates for the upcoming fall term, while the University of Cincinnati and Miami University are considering it.