Miami touts nearly 92% vax rate for students as shot deadline approaches

Drive through Covid-19 testing and Vaccinations were set up near Millet Hall as students move in at Miami University Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2021 in Oxford. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Drive through Covid-19 testing and Vaccinations were set up near Millet Hall as students move in at Miami University Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2021 in Oxford. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

As Miami University’s deadline for student vaccinations against the coronavirus approaches, school officials announced nearly 92 percent of its enrollment have already received the coronavirus preventive injection.

Miami reported this week nearly 92 percent of students and more than 80 percent of employees on its main Oxford campus have received a coronavirus vaccine.

In late August school officials had previously adopted a mandatory vaccine requirement in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local, state and federal public health officials —and with input from the Miami community.

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The university is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to have received an exemption by Nov. 22.

Prior to its late August switch in policy, Miami officials had only “strongly recommended” vaccinations for students and staffers. The current vaccination policy applies to all students, faculty and staffers at Miami’s main Oxford campus and its regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown.

“We are so grateful to our students, faculty, and staff for the many ways they have kept our campus healthy this fall, and we celebrate this milestone in the fight against COVID-19: more than 90 percent of our students across all campuses are vaccinated,” said Jayne Brownell, Miami Vice President for Student Life.

“The Miami community serves as an example that challenges can be overcome through compassion, fortitude, and teamwork,” said Brownell.

In a released statement, school officials said: “In addition to the vaccine requirement, Miami’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included robust surveillance and wide-net testing of asymptomatic individuals; wastewater monitoring; contact tracing, quarantine and isolation; and other safety precautions, such as masking indoors.”

“Vaccination continues to be our best tool in the fight against COVID-19, and we are seeing the benefits at Miami,” Brownell said. “Miami’s COVID-19 rates remain low and we have not seen any serious outbreaks among students, faculty or staff.”

Last week, Butler County General Health District (BCGHD) reported that 45056 was the only zip code in Butler County to be downgraded from high (red) to substantial (orange) transmission.

“We are thankful for Miami’s tailored efforts to provide vaccine clinics that gave students and staff opportunities to ask questions and overcome barriers to getting the shot,” said Erin Smiley, health promotion director at BCGHD.

Fewer than 10 percent of students and employees have requested exemptions, which the university continues to review and process. Exemptions may be granted for the following reasons: medical with documentation; sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances; or reasons of conscience, including philosophical and ethical beliefs, said Miami officials.

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