OU’s new employee vaccine mandate deadline has been extended. OU announced last week all employees, including student employees, would need to be fully vaccinated by December 8th. However, that deadline has been extended to January 4th after OU Human Resources sent out a new email yesterday evening following OSHA’s mandate.
OU’s Chief Covid Officer, Dr. Dale Bratzler, says Oklahoma isn’t a state where mandates are popular with the public. “It’s been frustrating that what is simply an infectious disease – a virus – has turned into such a political issue. In healthcare, we’ve been used to vaccine mandates for many many years.”
With the new deadline and the vaccination process in mind, OUHR provided a timeline for their employees. For two dose vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer, you’d need to get your first dose in late November and your second dose by December 21st. For the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, you’d just need a single shot by December 21st. OSHA’s mandate gives employees the option to mask up and test weekly if they do not wish to get the vaccine.
Doctor Bratzler says most people aren’t what he would call anti-vax, even if they don’t want to get vaccinated. “They have legitimate concerns: they don’t understand, they’ve heard the things, they’ve seen it in social media, they don’t know what to believe. So we just help them work through some of those issues. I get why some people have that concern but usually when I explain it and show them the data they at least understand that that really was the culmination of literally years of work.”
OU Media Relations have not answered on whether or not they will follow suit and Human Resources has not yet announced how they will require employees to submit vaccination proof.