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2 New Mexico universities to require vaccines for some

August 3, 2021 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest public university will require students, faculty and other workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30, while its second-largest university will implement the mandate only for staff.

The University of New Mexico mandate announced Monday is subject to limited exemptions and will be in effect at the main campus in Albuquerque, the Academic Health Sciences Campus in Albuquerque and at satellite locations around the state covering more than 20,000 students.

President Garnett Stokes said incentives the university offered for vaccinations had an impact but not enough “to protect the health and safety of our Lobos.”

“So, we must lean into the groundwork we’ve already laid in the development of a vaccine requirement and respond today to the current public health landscape,” Stokes said in an email.

Stokes said she asked the Board of Regents to endorse the requirement. It’s scheduled to vote on the policy Thursday.

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New Mexico State University, based in Las Cruces, announced on Tuesday a mandate for staff to get vaccinated or face weekly testing, also starting Sept. 30. It is waiting to make a decision on a possible mandate for its 15,000 students, who are expected to start classes on Aug. 18.

The University of New Mexico announced late last month that it would require all people to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors at the main campus in Albuquerque and satellite locations.

In early July, the school had decided against a mandate on vaccinations, but Stokes said it changed course as the highly contagious delta variant accelerates spread of the coronavirus.