NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico will require everyone on campus to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s a reversal from a couple of weeks ago when the university announced vaccines would be strongly encouraged but voluntary.


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In a letter to the campus community Monday night, UNM President Garnett Stokes said officials were optimistic their cash incentive program would prompt enough people to get the shot but she says it has proven not to be enough. The mandate will be for students, facility and staff to get the vaccine as soon as possible and no later than September 30.

People can get exemptions for medical or religious reasons or because they are participating in school 100% remotely. Others can get a temporary exception, while the vaccines are still under emergency-use approval but as soon as the FDA grants any vaccine full approval, that exemption will no longer apply. Anyone with an exemption will be subject to regular COVID testing and other restrictions.

The plan is expected to take effect following the regents’ meeting on Thursday. UNM says as of Monday, nearly 9,000 Lobos are already vaccinated.