The deadline to request an exemption from Ohio State’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate is approaching.
Ohio State announced Sept. 1 that it would require the COVID-19 vaccine for all students, faculty and staff, with the first shot by Oct. 15 and the second by Nov. 15. The deadline to request an exemption is Friday .
Students can submit their exemptions to BuckMD while faculty and staff can use the Employee Health Record form. According to the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website , all religious and personal exemptions must be notarized to be approved by Student Health Services or Labor and Employee Relations.
Ohio State’s Student Legal Services offers a list of locations with notaries.
University spokesperson Chris Booker said exemptions may fall under medical/health-related reasons or for religious/personal beliefs. Medical excuses require proof of documentation along with a listed health care provider.
Booker said the exemption process will have about a two-to-three week turnaround. Students will have a note in their BuckMD patient portal that will provide them with proof of their exemption.
Nyukechen Agbor-Baiyee, a first-year in biology, said he submitted an exemption request for personal reasons, which included his comfortability with the vaccine itself.
“I didn’t feel comfortable taking the vaccine given the way they were enforcing it on the population,” said Agbor-Baiyee
Agbor-Baiyee said he feels the exemption is a necessary option because he believes that people have the right to choose.
“We’re going down a bad loophole if they can mandate, they’re mandating personal health choices like this,” Agbor-Baiyee said.
Agbor-Baiyee said his decision was also influenced by his discomfort in how individuals were being “bribed” to get vaccinated.
“The way they were enforcing it on the population and mandating it and basically bribing, trying to give people money to take it, that’s like, something must be wrong with this,” he said.
If his request does not get approved, Agbor-Baiyee said he would try to re-appeal the decision. He added that at that point, he may also just decide to get vaccinated.
“What I wrote on the worksheet had, like, all the rights that I felt that I had, that were being denied by this requirement,” Agbor-Baiyee said.
Clarification: This story was updated Monday at 11 a.m. to reflect that religious and personal exemptions must be notarized by a third party, and includes a list of local notaries.