Vaccination deadline looms for NM university students, faculty, and staff

Education

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – We’re less than two weeks away from the deadline requiring students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated for two of the state’s largest universities. But how close are these universities to having a fully vaccinated campus?


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Both the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University announced in August they were requiring all their students, staff, and faculty to be fully vaccinated by September 30. 

“I think we’re doing well, our students were the last group to come back to campus,” said Cinnamon Blair, the Chief Marketing & Communication Officer for UNM. “Faculty and staff have been back a bit longer and so, I think that’s also part of why we have a higher rate of that population right now.”    

UNM officials said at this point their main campus has more than 94% of faculty vaccinated, with nearly 78% of staff confirmed fully vaccinated and students at a little over 75%.  According to the university’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, there are still more than 5,000 UNM staff, faculty, and students that have yet to even submit their vaccination status or exemptions on the university’s vaccination portal.

UNM officials said students who fail to comply and elect not to do weekly COVID-19 tests will be disenrolled from the university on or after November 5. They will also receive a registration hold preventing future enrollment. UNM is still finalizing what its protocol could be for staff and faculty.

Meanwhile, NMSU just created their own vaccination portal called, “Vax Trax” this past week to track the vaccination status of their students, faculty, and staff.

“We’ll be able to tell everyone the percentages after that September 30 date. Right now, we don’t even know exactly how many students, faculty, and staff are vaccinated,” said Justin Bannister, a spokesperson with NMSU. “We can guess the numbers are going to be very similar to what they are in our community. So in Doña Ana County, that’s better than 70%.”    

He said they’ll give NMSU students a warning if they don’t make the vaccination deadline, but said non-compliance could lead to a suspension. As for staff and faculty, non-compliance could result in termination. 

Again, both universities do allow exemptions for medical and religious reasons. But must submit weekly COVID-19 test results. 

Both universities also have vaccine clinics for the public on their campuses. The UNM clinic runs until the end of the month, while the NMSU clinic is running indefinitely. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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