A glass-walled academic building has a large yellow University of Oregon "O" emblem emblazoned on its exterior.

The University of Oregon's business school on Dec. 1, 2019.

Kaylee Domzalski / OPB

The University of Oregon announced Monday afternoon that it will require COVID-19 vaccines of all on-campus students and employees this fall.

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UO is the latest Oregon public university to make such an announcement. Earlier Monday Western Oregon University announced its requirement. Last week, Oregon State and Portland State universities made similar calls.

“The science is clear: the COVID‑19 vaccine effectively eliminates the chances of death or serious illness in nearly all COVID‑19 infections,” UO President Michael Schill wrote in a message to the campus community Monday.

Schill said the university will follow Oregon law, as with its existing vaccination requirements, in that individuals can be exempted from the vaccination requirement if they have a medical reason, or a non-medical reason such as a “religious, philosophical, or other belief.”

“Requiring vaccinations is critical for public health. It will help us to reach the highest level of protection possible, reduce infections, limit many of the disruptions of COVID-19, and safeguard the community we live in,” Schill wrote. “It will also allow our campus community to return to the in-person and on-campus experience that is the cornerstone of academic success, student experience, and research innovation.”

Schill said the university will be working with campus stakeholders to work out the details of the vaccination requirement plan, including how students and employees can confirm they have been vaccinated or request an exemption.

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