UNM requires COVID vaccination before enrollment

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico initially chose to bring back students to campus without requiring a COVID vaccine. Now — a reversal of that decision — students and staff must now prove they’re vaccinated to enroll

"Hospitalization rates are going up. Our vaccination rates are not where we had wanted them to be, we really felt like incentivizing was going to be something that increased our vaccination rates, but unfortunately the COVID variant is outpacing our ability to get people vaccinated," said Cinnamon Blair, UNM spokesperson.

If students want to attend class, they’ll need to submit their vaccination card by Sept. 30.

"We now have a system or portal to upload their information," Blair said.

Enforcement remains unclear on how and or who on campus will have access to the portal — that’s still on UNM’s to-do list.

Students automatically receive $100 when they do receive their vaccination.

"Yeah I feel happy, even if it was not for the $100 I would have gotten vaccinated anyway, I think it’s the right thing to do," said a student.

There are religious and medical exemptions, as well as a temporary extension if someone wants to wait until the vaccine moves out of emergency-use authorization. Testing and limited access will apply to the person opting out.

UNM said that’ll likely be enforced by their Lobo swipe cards.

Masks are still required indoors on campus this fall, and UNM officials said students can expect pop-up vaccination clinics during welcome week.

The university says COVID is outpacing the ability to get people vaccinated.

"It wasn’t public pressure per se, this was a very responsible and thoughtful decision about what’s going on in the state and what’s going on nationally."

Other than UNM, New Mexico State University said Tuesday it will require all staff be vaccinated, but no decision for students just yet.