Over 250 students at New Mexico university fail to comply with vaccine mandate

Over 250 students at New Mexico university fail to comply with vaccine mandate
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Over 250 students at a university in New Mexico have failed to comply with a vaccine mandate that required them to be fully inoculated by Friday.

A spokesperson for the university, Cinnamon Blair, told The Hill in a statement that 256 students "have not responded to the mandate in any way" ahead of a Friday deadline, which includes 164 students from their Albuquerque campus and 92 from its branch campuses.

The university required that students either get inoculated or request an exemption for the jab.

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Those who received an exemption are required to provide proof of a valid COVID-19 test on a weekly basis. Students can undergo regular weekly testing if they have either not received a vaccine or an exemption, but this policy only applies in the fall semester, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

However, the majority of students at its campuses have complied with the vaccine mandate. The latest data from the university indicates roughly 92 percent of all of its students have been vaccinated, while 4.4 percent are exempt.

"We are very pleased with where we are with vaccination numbers," James Holloway, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement.

"And we don’t consider it done. We hope to get even more faculty, students and staff vaccinated, including new employees and new students who continue to join UNM," he added. 

The COVID-19 vaccine mandate also applies to its staff and faculty. Blair told the Albuquerque Journal that while there have been four staff separations (meaning that their employment was terminated) no faculty have received notices of separations at the time of the article’s publication.

Roughly 96 percent university staff are confirmed to be vaccinated and 98 percent of faculty have received their shots.

About 85 percent of people aged 12 years and older in New Mexico are at least partially vaccinated, while 73 percent are fully vaccinated, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data

Updated at 6:40 p.m.