December 20, 2021
Dear University of Oregon community,
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to protect yourselves and others against COVID-19 as we all came back together for fall term.
The university is closely monitoring the worldwide increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant. Public health experts continue to stress that vaccines are the most powerful tool for protecting health and reducing serious illness from COVID-19. This is encouraging given the highly vaccinated status on our campus and other, existing mitigation steps. Recent scientific data overwhelmingly supports the effectiveness of booster shots.
Due to the expected spread of the Omicron variant, Oregon Public Health officials are urging everyone to get their COVID-19 booster vaccination as soon as they are eligible. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, individuals 16 and older should get their booster six months after receiving a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In support of this public health guidance and to protect our community, the UO will require all students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 booster as soon as they are eligible, upon final review of existing research and government guidance. Details about the deadlines, uploading records, and process for this requirement will be announced as soon as they are finalized.
We encourage all who are eligible to add getting their booster shot to their winter break to-do list.
You can do so by attending a public vaccination clinic, working with your medical provider, or working to get an appointment with a local pharmacy. To learn more about boosters and the Lane County Public Health drop-in clinics that are now available visit the COVID-19 Resources website.
With more than 95 percent of students, faculty, and staff currently vaccinated, we have helped to keep our campus and community healthy. Boosters are the next step in the evolving public health strategy in which we have adapted and responded as a community during the pandemic. During winter term, we will also continue to rely on our layered health strategies such as wearing masks, testing protocols, and conducting case management.
Again, thank you for your vigilance and resilience. I know the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic is wearing on us all. I hope that you are able to take some time in the coming weeks for rest and restoration. I am very proud of the way the UO community has come together to continue to learn, discover, and serve.
I wish you a restful, happy, and healthy holiday season.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law