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COVID Response Team releases details about vaccine exemptions

In a university-wide email, Miami University’s COVID Response Team announced students must complete an educational module before requesting a COVID-19 vaccine exemption. 

Anyone who requests an exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine – no matter the reason – must complete this module before submitting medical paperwork or a personal statement outlining their reason for exemption. 

Medical requests for exemption will be reviewed by staff from TriHealth. Any non-medical requests will be evaluated by a “cross-divisional committee of Miami staff and administrators,” according to the email.

A spokesperson for the university did not immediately respond to requests for comment about who would make up that cross-divisional committee.

News of this required module comes more than a week after President Greg Crawford announced that all students and staff must receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 25. 

According to Crawford’s original email, individuals could request exemptions for medical reasons or for “sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances, or reasons of conscience, including philosophical and ethical beliefs.” 

In the newest email, the COVID Response Team wrote vaccine exemptions were always given for medical and religious reasons, but the definition has now evolved to include “ethical and philosophical reasons.” 

It is unclear whether this evolved definition applies to all required vaccines, or just the COVID-19 vaccine.

The forms and full process for exemptions will be released in next week’s COVID Response Team email. 

@maggieloup

penaml@miamioh.edu

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