ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Time is almost up for students, staff and faculty at the University of New Mexico to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. There are still thousands of people on campus who have yet to show their vaccination status.
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UNM officials said they want to work with students as best as they can so they can continue to get an education. However, if they refuse to comply, they will no longer be a Lobo.
“If they have not responded by the (September) 30th then they will be contacted and given the option to opt-in to start doing weekly testing and then their first test would have to be submitted by October 8th,” Cinnamon Blair, the UNM chief marketing & communication officer. “Then if they’re still non-compliant by November 5th they can be disenrolled.”
According to the UNM COVID dashboard, as of 3 p.m. Monday, about 82 percent of students are fully vaccinated on the main campus, with about 1,500 students still yet to submit their vaccination status.
UNM officials said students who elect regular COVID-19 testing will not be disenrolled for this fall semester but will receive a registration hold which will prevent them from registering for classes for spring 2022 and beyond.
UNM hopes this ensures students will be in compliance by next spring, whether that means fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption.
“I think it’s fair since UNM’s first priority is the students and student safety and student health of the community, so I think it’s fair,” said Mia Delrosarilo, a student at UNM.
“I think the vaccine mandate, while I do believe that it is important that people get vaccinated and immunized, I also don’t believe it’s necessarily a good idea to incentivize that by threatening to kick students off-campus after the mandate ends,” said Henry Allison, another student at UNM.
UNM said those who request medical or religious exemptions must submit a form as well as proper medical documentation or written religious materials describing their religious belief or practice. Which is then checked for verification by the university’s office of compliance, ethics & equal opportunity.
If UNM staff and faculty don’t comply, they will be let go but once they do get vaccinated or have an exemption, they can reapply for their position.
According to UNM’s COVID dashboard, 96 percent of faculty on the main campus are vaccinated and 85 percent of staff have received their shots.