COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Ohio State University has seen a sharp increase in its COVID-19 vaccination rate in the two-plus months that have passed since the university announced it would require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against the virus.

On Aug. 24, when the requirement was announced, the university-wide vaccination rate was 73%.

As of Oct. 28, 91% of students, faculty, and staff are partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing approximately 95,000 people, according to spokesman Ben Johnson.

“The community’s response to Ohio State’s vaccine requirement has been overwhelmingly positive,” Johnson told us. “We continue to encourage all members of the Ohio State community to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The deadline for OSU students, faculty, and staff to get their first dose of the vaccine was Oct. 15. For those getting a Pfizer or Moderna shot, the second dose is due by Nov. 15.

However, the university has also approved thousands of exemptions to its vaccine mandate.

OSU announced there would be a “limited set of exemptions” allowed, due to medical, personal or religious reasons.

Roughly 5,750 people across OSU have received vaccine exemptions from the mandate. There have been roughly 6,000 exemption requests.

Johnson said, “about 240 requests have been denied – largely because of missing documentation or incomplete forms.”

“Those individuals have been notified that they can resubmit their requests with proper documentation,” Johnson.

For those who choose not to get a vaccine or go through the exemption process, OSU has alerted individuals that they may be subject to disciplinary action.

For students, that includes being ineligible to participate in on-campus experiences including in-person classes.

Faculty and staff will be reminded of compliance requirements. Consequences could include the removal of electronic resources, including computer or email access, or “further progressive discipline,” according to OSU’s website.

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