Arizona Universities To Require Covid-19 Shots For Employees

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's three state universities will comply with a federal mandates for government contractors and require their employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8 unless granted exemptions, officials announced Friday.

The requirement by the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University includes undergraduate and graduate students who are also university employees, the state Board of Regents said in a statement.

The statement cited President Joe Biden's executive order regarding on compliance with federal COVID-19 workplace guidance and said the universities have “hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts, funding critical research, employment and educational efforts."

“We respect individual opinions regarding the vaccine and will include disability (including medical) and religious accommodations consistent with federal rules," the statement added.

A regents spokeswoman did not immediately respond when asked what would happen to an employee not complying with the mandate.

The University of Arizona “already has received amended federal contracts that include this requirement," President Robert Robbins said in statement. “While we respect individual opinions regarding the vaccine, we will continue with these mission-critical endeavors and will be complying with this new requirement."

In another development, Arizona health officials on Friday reported 2,399 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths.