Oakland University requires COVID-19 vaccine for all students, faculty, and staff on campus

On Monday, Oakland University joined many other universities in requiring all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be on campus.

The university made the change in its policy on Friday due to rising COVID-19 infection rates and the full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine which was done on Monday by the FDA.

The expanded mandate requires the first dose is done by Sept. 3 with the second dose completed by Oct. 1.

"I am so very proud of how the Oakland University community has weathered the past 18 months of the COVID pandemic. It is a tribute to your individual and our community’s collective perseverance, determination and resilience," said OU President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz. "But, unfortunately, the national and international health crisis is not over. This will continue to require more of each of us. To protect yourself, your family and your community, you must get vaccinated and wear your mask."

According to OU, the dramatic increase in the number of cases combined with the delta variant was the reason for the change in policy.

"This is not an optional thing. It’s a requirement," said Pescovitz. "It was time to mandate vaccination for our community coming to campus."

Students, faculty, and staff must provide proof of vaccination on the university's Graham Health Center secure patient portal. 

Pescovitz talked about the delta variant concerns.

"In particular in Oakland and Macomb county where our students and staff live. And we were concerned about the health and safety of our community."

Some students on campus expected this step and even welcome it. But some who spoke to FOX 2 questioned the timing. The mandate goes into effect in less than two weeks on Sept. 3.

For those who drag their feet or refuse, the OU president says it will begin with a warning with the expectation that everyone must comply to stay on campus - and some question if enforcement is really possible.

And for those who need more incentive, students will receive $50 after submitting the first shot documentation and $50 after completion. 

The university will also require masks to be worn indoors on campus, despite the mandate for 100 percent vaccinations.

OU now joins several other universities in the policy, including the University of Michigan, Albion College, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and Grand Valley State University.