OXFORD — Thousands of Miami University students and staff will no longer be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, school officials announced Monday.
The rule, which applied to Miami’s Oxford and regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown since 2021, has been removed, said Miami officials.
“We are writing to inform you that, effective today, Miami University will no longer have a COVID-19 vaccination policy for Miami students or employees,” wrote officials from Miami’s COVID-19 Response Team in their public message.
“Our vaccination policy helped us achieve a level of immunity that allowed us to keep our university open and functioning during the pandemic. Over time, we have seen that the vaccine remains effective at reducing the severity of symptoms associated with COVID-19, but does not always prevent the spread of new variants of the virus.”
“We continue to recommend that all members of our community receive the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters if they are able as a way to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms,” said officials.
“The university will still collect COVID-19 vaccination information from students on a voluntary basis. Vaccines and boosters are available on campus through Student Health Services and Employee Health Services.”
More than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend Miami’s main Oxford campus, regional campuses and the Miami Learning Center in West Chester Twp.
The school is Butler County’s largest employer.
In August 2021, Miami was among the first universities in the region to require students and staff to be vaccinated for the virus, which had its onset in March 2020 and for months after shut down and disrupted in-person learning in America’s colleges and K-12 schools.
Medical and other exceptions were granted to students and Miami staffers on a case-by-case basis but otherwise all others had to have been injected with the original vaccines available at the time by late November 2021.
Jessica Rivinius, spokeswoman for Miami, said Monday new and returning students next school year, along with “students coming to Miami as transfers in the summer and fall will not need to comply with a COVID-19 vaccination policy.”