▶️ UO, OSU, COCC won’t require student COVID vaccines as plan gains steam nationwide


On Thursday, Willamette University became the latest college to require students get a COVID-19 vaccine before attending in-person class in the fall.

That comes just after Lewis and Clark College in Portland made the same announcement Wednesday.

Across the nation, several high-profile private universities such as Princeton, Yale and Duke, also announced they’ll require a COVID shot.

But not every college in Oregon is ready to follow suit.

“In terms of formally requiring it, it’s probably not legally worthwhile to take on, and frankly, it doesn’t meet all of our students where they are,” Zak Boone, chief advancement officer and foundation executive director for COCC, said.

COCC leaders are strongly recommending but not requiring students and employees to get the COVID vaccine.

“Eight to 10,000 students, some of them may only be taking three credit hours or taking a class online,” Boone said. “Requiring a vaccine for all students seems like a blanket approach that isn’t nuanced.”

OSU Cascades sent a message out to all faculty, staff and students on Wednesday, saying after extensive analysis, it won’t require the vaccine either.

“So many more people are getting vaccinated now,” Christine Coffin, director of communications for OSU Cascades, said. “Requiring the vaccination may not encourage that many more people to get vaccinated.”

But, could that change, if more colleges and universities get on board with the idea?

“I’m pretty confident that this decision will stay, but like with everything in the pandemic, we’re saying subject to change,” Boone said.

“We’re not anticipating a change but never say never during the pandemic,” Coffin said.

The University of Oregon also said it’s encouraging students to be vaccinated for COVID, but a shot won’t be required as of right now.


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