Kent State Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,

At Kent State, we try our best to live up to our values and to fulfill our promises. When we say Flashes Take Care of Flashes, we mean we will always do what we can to provide the safest and most supportive educational environment, home and workplace possible for everyone in our community.

With the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and its expected approval of the Moderna vaccine next month, we now have an official acknowledgment that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at stopping the spread of this deadly virus.

As the delta variant drives a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across Ohio, we must act for the health and safety of our Kent State family and the Northeast Ohio communities in which our campuses are located. Guided by our Flashes Take Care of Flashes ethic and our overarching desire to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all, we will implement a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, with exemptions considered for medical and religious/personal reasons.

This requirement will be phased in over the fall semester to give everyone in our community the opportunity to get vaccinated, particularly those who were hesitant and waiting for full FDA approval before getting a shot. While at this time the requirement covers students and all non-represented employees, we are currently engaged in positive and productive talks with the leadership for our union faculty and staff with the intent to include them as well.

Phase 1

Start getting vaccinated! Beginning Sept. 1, we will expand our testing efforts to include sample testing of unvaccinated students living off campus and unvaccinated employees. Unvaccinated students in the residence halls will continue to be tested once a week.

Phase 2

Conclude your vaccinations! Beginning Nov. 1, all unvaccinated students in residence halls will be tested twice a week; all other unvaccinated students and unvaccinated employees will be tested once a week. This is particularly important as cold weather arrives and we spend more time indoors together.

Phase 3

Effective Dec. 20, all students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots also may be required in the future.

You will receive more details about the implementation of this requirement in the coming weeks, including information on exemptions. Until then, anyone with questions should send them to vaccine@kent.edu or call 330-672-8227.

Please remember that both employees and students should upload their vaccine information and, if vaccinated, are eligible to win generous awards through the university incentive program. In fact, we are extending the incentive program so that all who are vaccinated and register by Oct. 31 are eligible to win.

Remember, vaccines are readily available weekdays on the Kent Campus and at numerous other locations throughout the state.

We are taking this important step because vaccines are the primary and most effective tool against serious illness and the best path out of the pandemic. Not only do they prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death, they also prevent the virus from mutating into one that is resistant to existing vaccines.

Vaccines also allow us to continue the vibrant and valuable in-person learning, events and campus experiences that we all desire.

We all miss our pre-pandemic society, and we all are weary of COVID-19 and the toll it has taken on our lifestyle, our economy and our mental health. Therefore, we must do all we can to protect our fellow Flashes and our greater community. Kent State is stepping up and taking a stand to help ensure that COVID-19 ends – because Flashes Take Care of Flashes.

Sincerely,

Todd Diacon
President

POSTED: Friday, August 27, 2021 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 27, 2021 - 1:00pm
WRITTEN BY:
President Todd Diacon