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Wright State Guardian: Wright State not planning to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations

Covid19 virus

Excerpt from the Wright State Guardian

Wright State University says that it has no plans to issue a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the near future, citing complexities in enforcing the mandate.

Recently, universities across Ohio, including The Ohio State University, Miami University, the University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo, Ohio University, Cleveland State University, Central State University and the University of Akron, have announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates due to the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration and the rise in Delta variant cases.

WSU does not plan to follow this pattern, according to Dean of Students Chris Taylor.

Currently, Youngstown State University, Shawnee State University, the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and Wright State are the only Inter-University Council of Ohio universities without a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. NEOMED currently has a student vaccination rate of 97%.

Taylor cited complexities in enforcing a mandate as the reason for this decision. He explained that students could claim exemption from receiving the vaccine for three reasons: medical, religious and conscientiously—or firmly—held beliefs. 

“For strongly held personal beliefs, there is no way to challenge that,” Taylor explained.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) affirmed that it plans to leave vaccine mandates to the discretion of universities and local health departments, according to Jeff Robinson, director of communications for ODHE.