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Penn State Opens Requests For Medical, Disability COVID-19 Vaccine Exemptions

Penn State faculty and staff can now submit requests for medical or disability-related exemptions to the university’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Faculty and staff who fall under Penn State’s vaccine mandate can submit an online request for an exemption if they have a disability or medical condition that would prevent them from getting vaccinated. Forms must be submitted on or before Friday, November 12. They’ll be reviewed by Occupational Medicine on a rolling basis.

Students supported on graduate assistantships must submit a separate form if they’re requesting a similar exemption, too. Those must be submitted to University Health Services by Friday, November 12, as well.

Any approved exemption is considered temporary. Penn State said future vaccine types and COVID-19 variants could change assessments and requirements.

Applicable Penn State employees could also request religious exemptions to the university’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Those requests are due by Friday, November 5.

Faculty and staff at nine Penn State campuses — University Park, Altoona, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Harrisburg, and Schuylkill — must submit proof of vaccination to the university by December 8. Penn State’s mandate comes as the university attempts to comply with President Joe Biden’s September 9 executive order that requires vaccinations for all federal employees, contractors, and more.

Penn State joins more than 1,000 college campuses that already require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees in one way or another, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Ten Big Ten schools, including Ohio State, Michigan, and Rutgers, already have mandates in place, although some let students and employees bypass vaccinations if they get tested regularly.

According to Penn State’s COVID-19 Dashboard, about 81% of employees across the nine campuses have submitted proof of vaccination. Those who haven’t verified their full vaccination (or received an exemption) are required to get tested for COVID-19 weekly.

For the most up-to-date information on Penn State’s COVID-19 policies, visit its dedicated website.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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