Employees of the University of New Hampshire will have to be vaccinated, the university’s president has announced, to comply with President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring all federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
University President James W. Dean explained in a letter to the campus on Oct. 15 that because the university gets federal funding to conduct research, university employees will be considered federal contractors. Under an executive order signed by Biden last month, they will be required to be vaccinated unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption.
“This is because anyone who works on federal contracts, supports federal contracts or comes into contact with those who do are part of this requirement,” Dean wrote in an update on Friday. “After a detailed review of interactions on the Durham campus, we cannot find a way to exclude any group of employees.”
But according to the university’s COVID-19 data dashboard, the policy will have little effect on university staff and faculty.
“As reported on our dashboard, the overwhelming majority of faculty and staff have voluntarily disclosed to us that they are already vaccinated,” Dean wrote.
According to the university’s dashboard, more than 99% of professors have already been vaccinated, and 92% of other staff are already vaccinated.
The few unvaccinated staff and faculty ineligible for exemptions will have to get either a second dose of the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine by Nov. 24, or the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine.