August 26, 2021 Update to COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Posted Aug 26, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Otterbein has followed the advice of public health officials to make decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of our community. As we talk with our partners, two things are clear:

First, the Delta variant is more transmissible and is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated individuals. Hospitalizations are surging — and young and otherwise healthy patients are being admitted in higher numbers than ever before.

Second, a growing body of evidence tells us the available vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness or death from COVID-19. That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23.

For these reasons, along with advice from Franklin County Public Health, the University will now require students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This, combined with our current mask mandate, will offer the highest level of protection to our community and allow us to continue to offer in-person classes and activities.


If you are one of the 75% of students who are fully vaccinated — THANK YOU! If you are vaccinated and have not already done so, please report your status by sending a copy of your vaccination card to

Students who are not fully vaccinated (two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) will not be able to register for spring semester classes. Registration for spring semester opens Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.


If you are among the approximately 90% of faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated —THANK YOU! Faculty and staff are expected to be fully vaccinated by Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. More information will be forthcoming on how to share proof of vaccination with the Otterbein Office of Human Resources.

Please note that boosters may be required in the future.

We will hold vaccination clinics on campus to ensure vaccines are available and convenient to all members of the campus community. The next vaccination clinic, offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will be held from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, at the COVID-19 testing site at 172 W. Main Street.

Click here to Register for Vaccination

Additional on-campus clinics will be held on Sept. 8, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, and Oct. 15. You can find a list of additional vaccine providers in our Protect the Nest website.

Students, faculty, and staff may request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement. Exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

To request an exemption, students must contact and faculty and staff must contact For a medical exemption, students, faculty, and staff will be required to provide documentation from their licensed healthcare provider. For a religious exemption, students and employees will be asked to complete a separate religious exemption form.

The health and safety of our community has always been our highest priority, and our partners at Franklin County Public Health and OhioHealth agree that this data-driven, science-based decision is the best way to protect all members of our community.

Thank you for doing your part to Protect the Nest!


Dawn Stewart
Vice President for Student Affairs
Athletics Director

Scott Fitzgerald
Director of Human Resources