Oregon State University will require COVID-19 booster shots

CORVALLIS, Ore. (KGW) — Oregon State University will require COVID-19 booster shots for students and staff when they become eligible during the upcoming winter term.

The University of Oregon last week was the state’s first public university to announce a booster shot requirement for students and staff. Portland State University is encouraging students and staff to get COVID booster shots but is not requiring it at this time.

OSU plans to return to in-person classes on Jan. 3 as planned, despite the highly-contagious omicron variant leading to a spike in COVID cases nationwide. All seven of Oregon’s public universities plan to resume in-person instruction when their winter terms begin in January.

OSU Interim President Becky Johnson said the university’s 93% vaccination rate, combined with a booster shot requirement, should help prevent a surge in cases on campus. Students living in university residence halls will be tested when they return to campus, and there will be voluntary on-campus testing for other students as winter term begins.

“We are mindful that classrooms, where students and faculty are vaccinated and wear face coverings, have not been a significant source of virus spread. We seek to minimize disruption of student learning and experience and provide predictability for our faculty and university operations,” Johnson said.

People 16 and older are eligible for booster shots if it’s been at least six months since their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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