Miami celebrating a ‘milestone in the fight against COVID-19’
University touts nearly 92% student vaccination rate, over 80% for employees as deadline approaches.
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites were set up near Millet Hall in Oxford as students moved into campus housing at Miami University in August. College officials announced that nearly 92% of its students and over 80% of staffers on its main Oxford campus are vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
By Michael D. Clark
Staff Writer


OXFORD — As Miami University’s deadline for student vaccinations against the coronavirus approaches, school officials announced nearly 92% of its enrollment have already received the injection against COVID-19.

Miami reported last week that nearly 92% of students and more than 80% of employees on its main Oxford campus have received a coronavirus vaccine. 

In late August, school officials had previously adopted a mandatory vaccine requirement in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local, state and federal public health officials — and with input from the Miami community.

The university is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to have received an exemption by Nov. 22.

Prior to its late August switch in policy, Miami officials had only “strongly recommended” vaccinations for students and staffers. The current vaccination policy applies to all students, faculty and staffers at Miami’s main Oxford campus and its regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown.

“We are so grateful to our students, faculty and staff for the many ways they have kept our campus healthy this fall, and we celebrate this milestone in the fight against COVID-19: more than 90% of our students across all campuses are vaccinated,” said Jayne Brownell, Miami Vice President for Student Life.

“The Miami community serves as an example that challenges can be overcome through compassion, fortitude and teamwork,” said Brownell.

In a released statement, school officials said: “In addition to the vaccine requirement, Miami’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included robust surveillance and wide-net testing of asymptomatic individuals; wastewater monitoring; contact tracing, quarantine and isolation; and other safety precautions, such as masking indoors.”

“Vaccination continues to be our best tool in the fight against COVID-19, and we are seeing the benefits at Miami,” Brownell said.

“Miami’s COVID-19 rates remain low and we have not seen any serious outbreaks among students, faculty or staff.”

Last week, the Butler County General Health District reported that 45056 was the only zip code in Butler County to be downgraded from high (red) to substantial (orange) transmission.

“We are thankful for Miami’s tailored efforts to provide vaccine clinics that gave students and staff opportunities to ask questions and overcome barriers to getting the shot,” said Erin Smiley, health promotion director at BCGHD.

Fewer than 10% of students and employees have requested exemptions, which the university continues to review and process.

Exemptions may be granted for the following reasons: medical with documentation; sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances; or reasons of conscience, including philosophical and ethical beliefs, said Miami officials.