Vaccine Graphic - Photo via Pixabay

As BGSU continues to prepare for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate to come into effect, one key aspect of the policy is that of vaccine exemptions.

As of Nov. 3, 2207 individuals had applied for exemption to the spring semester’s vaccine requirement. This makes up roughly 10% of BGSU’s total 22,000 students, faculty and staff. Of the requests, 1769 have currently been approved, with no information on how many have been denied or are still pending.

Among those applying for exemption were 37 faculty members. Unvaccinated class instructors will still be conducting their classes in person, with contingency plans in place should contact tracing and quarantining need to occur.

While the deadline to file a request was announced as being Nov. 1, BGSU Chief Health Officer Ben Batey said they are still accepting new requests from students who may have missed the deadline, or students who are enrolling in the spring semester.

Batey said some requests require additional information from students who may have not provided enough details in their initial form.

“An example would be sometimes people have filed for religious exemption, but they didn’t really give us any information about their personal religion,” he said.

Batey also told WBGU’s “The Morning Show” that about half of the requests did cite religious reasons, with the remainder mostly noting either personal conscience or medical reasons.

The university’s announced policy currently only affects students attending in the spring semester of 2022. Requirements for future semesters currently remain unclear.

Batey said there has been no decision made regarding the fall semester of 2022 yet.

If an individual has their request denied, they will work with the Division of Health and Wellness to figure out what they need to do, including the possibility of having those individuals take their classes remotely.

On-campus housing is expected to follow policies similar to those currently in place, with no separation between vaccinated and unvaccinated students. It is not currently known if unvaccinated students denied exemption will see a change in their access to on-campus housing.

BGSU will continue to provide updates on everything pertaining to COVID-19 through its online dashboard and weekly updates.

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