UD employees required to receive COVID-19 vaccine to comply with federal mandate

Employees have until Nov. 24 to receive the vaccine or submit an exemption form. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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Zoë Hill | News Editor

All university employees, including student employees, are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 24. Vaccinations must be reported to UD before midnight on Dec. 8. 

The university made the announcement Monday afternoon to alert UD employees of the latest change to the COVID protocols. The mandate is a condition of employment for both student employees and full-time UD employees. 

“The University has long been a federal contractor, conducting important research, supporting undergraduate and graduate students, and advancing the local economy,” the announcement said. “Based on these contracts, the University campus is considered a federal contractor workplace and, therefore, the entire employee base is subject to the terms of the executive order.”

The new requirement is being enforced in order to comply with federal executive order 14042. President Joe Biden issued the executive order Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors on Sept. 9. 

“These safeguards will decrease the spread of COVID-19, which will decrease worker absence, reduce labor costs, and improve the efficiency of contractors and subcontractors at sites where they are performing work for the Federal Government,” Biden said. 

University employees may submit an exemption form by Nov. 24 to opt out of the requirement for medical or religious reasons. Employees who receive both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson must record their vaccination status to UD by the December deadline. 

Efforts to vaccinate campus over the summer during the “Building Immunity in Our Community” challenge resulted in nearly 75 percent of campus reporting getting the shot, according to the university. As of Monday, the campus vaccination dashboard reports 84 percent of employees being vaccinated. 

To support employees who are now required to get the vaccine, clinics have been scheduled for Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Curran Place’s Marshall Room and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Kennedy Union’s East Ballroom. 

The employee mandate is a slight divergence from UD President Eric Spina’s initial decision to not mandate vaccines campus-wide. Spina wrote a letter to faculty and staff on Sept. 7 explaining his decision. 

UD is committed to keeping the campus community updated on evolving local, state and federal COVID protocols, according to the Path Forward Team. 

Vaccinations can be reported here, and the exemption form can be found here

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