by Cole Lauterbach


Workers at the University of Arizona must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

That’s the news from university President Robert Robbins in response to President Joe Biden’s order that any public or private organization that benefits from federal tax dollars must install a vaccination mandate.

Robbins said Tuesday federal funding is critical to the university’s operation.

“The task force has issued guidance to ensure federal contractors are fully vaccinated by Dec 8, 2021,” he said. “While we respect individual opinions regarding vaccines, we will continue these mission-critical endeavors and will comply with the requirement.”

Those who have an approved disability or a religious exemption could not need to be vaccinated, though the details of the federal mandate exemptions have yet to be released.

Robbins said they would work with them to go through the exemption process for those who refuse to be vaccinated.

“We’ve got to look to the federal government to give us guidance about what happens if there is that rare individual who does not get an exemption but refuses to get a vaccine,” he said.

Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University also will require employees to be vaccinated.

Although students who work for the university must follow the mandate, Robbins said a student vaccination mandate is not planned, contrasting with the student requirements in place in neighboring California.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a news release earlier this month he would fight Biden’s mandate in court.

“President Biden claims that his vaccine mandate is an attempt at battling the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead it’s the latest action by an administration that seems hellbent on undermining confidence in the vaccine at every turn,” Ducey said.

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Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, and Nevada. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.
Photo “University of Arizona President Robert Robbins” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.