Ohio State Joins List of Employers and Universities Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination
With the announcement Monday, Aug. 23 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, The Ohio State University announced on Tuesday it would require every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with a first dose received by Oct. 15.
Employers and universities across the country have announced vaccine requirements since the announcement of the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in addition to companies that made such requirements beforehand.
Even before the FDA’s full approval, Columbus hospitals announced mandates for their staffs. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center announced early this month that the COVID-19 vaccine would be added to its “non-discretionary” vaccine policy, which applies to all of its faculty, staff and students.
OhioHealth announced it would require all of its associates, providers and volunteers to be vaccinated by Dec. 1, or be required to wear a mask at all times and undergo regular COVID-19 testing.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Mount Carmel Health System have announced similar policies.
Ohio Wesleyan University also requires students and employees to be vaccinated and did so before the FDA’s full approval.
Ohio Wesleyan is a private university and was not affected by House Bill 244, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine in July and forbids public K-12 schools and colleges from requiring any vaccine without full approval from the FDA.
At this time, Columbus’ other colleges and universities, including Capital University, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus State Community College and Ohio Dominican University, still only “strongly encourage” students and faculty to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and do not require it, though other vaccination requirements are still in place.
Along with the state and the rest of the country, Franklin County is seeing its highest new COVID-19 case numbers since the winter. On Friday, Aug. 20, Franklin County reported over 250 cases in a single day, the most since Feb. 3.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.