Vaccine requirements kicking in at Oregon public universities

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
Aug. 24, 2021 7:49 p.m.

UO sees high response rate to COVID-19 vaccination mandate; EOU’s requirement officially takes effect following Pfizer approval

Oregon’s public universities, which have all issued COVID-19 vaccination requirements, have begun collecting proof of vaccination from students and employees — and at least one university is already seeing high vaccination numbers nearly a month before the start of the fall term.

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

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

Kaylee Domzalski / OPB


University of Oregon has a “vaccination dashboard” tracking how many faculty, staff and students have completed the vaccination reporting requirements. As of Monday, about 96% of students, staff and faculty who have completed their reporting are vaccinated. The remaining roughly 4% of both of those groups requested some sort of exemption.

About 70% of all staff and faculty, and 50% of students, have gone through the process of reporting their vaccination status, or requesting an exemption. The deadline for most UO students and employees to do so is later in September, before the start of the term.


“Most people on campus have until September to let us know their vaccination status, but the early signs are very, very promising,” UO President Michael Schill and Provost Patrick Phillips wrote in a message to students and employees last week. “Based upon folks who have reported to us thus far, the vast majority of our community is coming together to protect each other.”

EOU makes vaccine mandate official

Eastern Oregon University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement is now official after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday.

EOU announced earlier this summer that it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or valid exemption for the upcoming fall, but the mandate hinged on FDA approval of at least one of the coronavirus vaccines.

Eastern’s requirement is that all in-person students and employees must show vaccination or exemption proof within 60 days of FDA approval. That means the university’s deadline is in October, nearly a month after the start of the fall term.

“A fully vaccinated community is the best way to protect our individual and collective health and safety,” EOU President Tom Insko said in a message to the campus community Monday. “Also, it is only through widespread vaccinations that EOU can further loosen or remove restrictions that are inhibiting our ability to create the on-campus university experience we all thrive within. Removing restrictions will have a positive impact on the social and mental wellbeing of our students and employees.”


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