University of Oregon requiring COVID booster
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — As the highly transmissible omicron variant spreads across the country, University of Oregon students, faculty and staff will be required to get a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible, school officials announced Monday.
Currently the university and the state’s six other public universities require COVID-19 vaccinations for those on campus. As of Monday afternoon, the University of Oregon is the only public university in the state to publicly announce a booster requirement.
“Boosters are the next step in the evolving public health strategy in which we have adapted and responded as a community during the pandemic,” Michael Schill, the president of the University of Oregon, said in a letter posted online. “During winter term, we will also continue to rely on our layered health strategies such as wearing masks, testing protocols, and conducting case management.”
Individuals who are 16 or older are eligible for a booster shot six months after the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after a Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine. Schill said that details about booster shot deadlines for the University of Oregon will be coming shortly.
Last Friday during a news conference, Gov. Kate Brown and state health officials urged Oregonians to get booster shots immediately. Local scientists predict that the state is about three weeks away from a new wave of hospitalizations that could surpass the peak since the start of the pandemic.
The Oregon Health Authority reported the state’s first three omicron cases last week.