Pacific Will Require COVID-19 Vaccination for Students, Employees
Last month, we announced that Pacific University will require COVID-19 vaccination for employees and students to return to campuses.
This new policy will go into effect May 1, 2021, and will apply to all students and employees in full- or part-time Pacific programs. The requirement does not apply to students in fully online programs or to employees whose work is completely remote.
About 90% of current Pacific students and employees have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the university will continue working with incoming students and employees to ensure access to vaccines.
Students and employees will be required to complete a full series of the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to arriving on campus for 2021-2022 academic terms, including those starting in May, June or July. Current employees already on campus will be required to complete their vaccination series by Aug. 1, 2021.
New members of the Pacific community should plan ahead to schedule their vaccines with a local provider in advance of their arrival on a campus. We recognize, however, that people do not have equal access to vaccines, and anyone unable to access a vaccine will be able to receive vaccination through the university’s Health Center.
We also recognize that populations of color might have particular concerns about the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness. Historically our country has not been equitable and ethical in vaccinating minorities. Although Black, Hispanic, Native American and other people of color are overrepresented in severe coronavirus disease, vaccine hesitancy among these groups and others can complicate the decision about whether to be vaccinated. Pacific will make all reasonable efforts to provide vaccine education to the Pacific community in order to address questions and concerns and promote compliance with this policy.
The COVID-19 vaccination requirement is consistent with Pacific’s other vaccination requirements. Medical and religious exemptions may be requested, consistent with Oregon and federal law. All exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Thanks to our community’s extraordinary efforts, Pacific has been fortunate to keep our COVID-19 case numbers low. Vaccination, however, is a critical long-term step in maintaining health and safety as we look forward to returning to in-person instruction and activities this fall.