Oct 22, 2021 6:15 PM

KU announces vaccine requirement for employees

Posted Oct 22, 2021 6:15 PM

LAWRENCE —The University of Kansas announced  their vaccine mandate in a message to employees from Chancellor Douglas Girod Friday afternoon.

"Last month, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring employees of institutions that contract with the federal government to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8."

"Per this order, the University of Kansas will now require all KU employees to submit proof they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8."

"Because of the scope of the federal order, this mandate applies to all KU employees – including student employees – on all campuses and in all KU affiliates and auxiliaries, unless an employee applies for and receives a religious or medical exemption. Employees who do not comply with the vaccine requirement are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment."

According to the Chancellor, the determination that KU needs to comply with the federal order was made in consultation with federal and state partners, including the Kansas Board of Regents, which has provided formal guidance illustrating the necessity that the state’s three research universities comply with the federal order.

KU participates in millions of dollars in federal contracts that fund research, employment and educational efforts — all of which are at risk if we are not aligned with the executive order. For this reason, we cannot be flexible with employees who choose not to comply with the vaccine requirement.

Next steps

"In the days ahead, we will share information on how employees can submit proof of vaccination through a secure upload process or apply for a religious or medical exemption through the applicable Human Resources office.

In the meantime, unvaccinated employees need to seek their first vaccine dose immediately. Per the federal order, employees must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. Because the full vaccination process can take up to six weeks, unvaccinated employees should plan to receive their first vaccine dose as soon as possible. (See the chart below for deadlines associated with each of the three FDA-approved vaccinations.)

Unvaccinated individuals are responsible to seek out vaccination opportunities. Vaccines are available at no charge at pharmacies and health clinics across the region. Employees may also look into available options near them at vaccines.gov.

I appreciate your attention to this matter as we work to comply with the federal mandate."

Available vaccines and associated deadlines

The CDC defines fully vaccinated as:

  1. Two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  2. Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The CDC also publishes recommended waiting periods following the first dose of the two-dose vaccine options. Considering these definitions and recommended waiting periods, please review the following timelines to meet the Dec. 8 deadline to become fully vaccinated for each of the three primary vaccine options.

Moderna Vaccine

Oct. 27 – Last day to receive first vaccine dose

Nov. 24 – Last day to receive second vaccine dose

Dec. 8 – Deadline to be fully vaccinated

View CDC Moderna recommendations

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine

Nov. 3 – Last day to receive first vaccine dose

Nov. 24 – Last day to receive second vaccine dose

Dec. 8 – Deadline to be fully vaccinated

View CDC Pfizer recommendations

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Nov. 24 – Last day to receive single dose vaccine

Dec. 8 – Deadline to be fully vaccinated

View CDC Johnson & Johnson recommendations

FAQs

How can I upload my proof of vaccination?

Information on how to upload your proof of vaccination will be shared in the days ahead. All medical records will be secure and kept confidential.

How can I apply for a religious or medical exemption from the vaccine mandate?

Information on how to apply for a religious or medical exemption will be shared in the days ahead. All applications will be secure and kept confidential.

Does the vaccine requirement apply to all KU employees – including those who work for KU affiliate and auxiliary units?

Yes.

What happens to employees who do not comply with the mandate?

Employees who do not comply with the vaccine requirement are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.

Does the order apply to students?

The order does not apply to students who aren’t employees. The order does apply to student employees, which includes students who work for KU in any capacity, including as graduate assistants/associates and postdoctoral scholars.

What if I have lost my vaccination card?

First, contact your vaccination provider. These providers keep records of all vaccinations and will have a way for you to obtain a copy of your vaccine document. You may be able to log into their patient portal to view a copy of your vaccine document.

In addition, all states have a way to request a copy of your vaccination record. View the CDC’s list of states with links to request your vaccination record.

What about Kansas state law regarding vaccinations and proof of vaccination?

We will continue to work with KBOR and state lawmakers to address discrepancies between state law and the federal order