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OHSU will require COVID vaccine for students, employees and others this fall

Employees, students and others associated with OHSU will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccination or obtain an approved exemption.
Credit: alex.pin - stock.adobe.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) will require employees, students, volunteers and long-term vendors to receive a COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 1, the university confirmed in an email to KGW.

Those who obtain an exemption as permitted under state or federal law and complete vaccine-related education will not be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Such exemptions will be allowed for medical, religious or nonmedical reasons, including an employee’s role at OHSU," said a spokesperson for OHSU. 

OHSU said it's still working out the specific details of the planned vaccine requirement with employees, faculty, leadership and unions.

RELATED: All 7 of Oregon's public universities to require COVID vaccinations this fall

Under Oregon law, hospitals cannot mandate doctors, nurses or any of their employees to be vaccinated. But OHSU said the planned requirement is not a mandate and leaves staff and others with two options:

1) Get vaccinated against COVID-19 

or

2) Request a vaccination exemption for medical, religious or nonmedical reasons as allowed by state and federal law. Those individuals will also have to complete vaccine education.

There are two ways to claim a nonmedical vaccine exemption in Oregon, according to the Oregon Health Authority

First, an individual can watch an online vaccine education module and submit a certificate of completion. Or, a person can talk to a health care provider and get a signed Vaccine Education Certificate.

RELATED: OHA: All Oregonians should wear a mask indoors as cases, hospitalizations rise

As of July 15, OHSU has fully vaccinated about 74% of its employees and staff. 5,841 employees and students have not yet been vaccinated, according to data from OHSU. 

It's unclear what action, if any, will be taken against those who are not vaccinated or exempt by the Sept. 1 deadline.