UAB employees are required to be vaccinated by Dec. 8, 2021 in accordance with President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order mandating all federal contractors’ employees be vaccinated.
“As a federal contractor, UAB, like most higher education institutions, must comply with the Executive Order and accompanying guidance,” wrote Sarah Nafziger, vice president of clinical support services at UAB Medicine, in an email sent on Oct. 22. “Consequently, UAB is required to ensure all university faculty and staff (Workgroups A and F) are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8, 2021, unless they have an approved medical, disability or religious exemption.”
UAB previously announced a vaccine requirement for the health system employees in August but paused it in September. It was reported by AL.com that before the pause the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty, a conservative legal organization, and Attorney General Steve Marshall both sent separate letters questioning the legality of the vaccine requirement.
UAB is a public research institution, therefore they do not have control over implementing this mandate.
“Because this vaccination requirement is mandated by the federal government, UAB does not have flexibility in its application or enforcement,” Nafziger wrote. “Failure to comply will place UAB in jeopardy of losing millions of dollars that we receive through federal contracts and awards, as well as jobs funded, in part, by those dollars.”
UAB has not released any information about how employees that do not get vaccinated will be affected. Employees may be exempt if they have a medical concern, disability or sincerely held religious belief.
University Health System employees are currently unaffected by the mandate. This could change depending on guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Alabama state officials, including Marshall and Gov. Kay Ivey, said they intend to fight the federal vaccine requirement.
“His outrageous, overreaching mandates will no doubt be challenged in the courts,” Ivey wrote in a statement posted to Twitter.
The Auburn Plainsman reported Auburn University also announced on Oct. 22 they will require university employees to be fully vaccinated by the same Dec. 8, 2021 deadline.
For more information on when employees must receive the different vaccinations go here.