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University of Oregon requiring COVID booster

December 20, 2021 GMT

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.”

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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.