Saturday, June 3, 2023

IHL Board Requires University Employees to be Vaccinated

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

Employees of Mississippi’s eight universities, including the University of Mississippi, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, after the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees voted Monday to follow Pres. Joe Biden’s executive order mandating vaccinations for federal workers and contractors.

The IHL board did not mandate vaccinations for students.

Last month, the Board voted to prohibit universities from mandating vaccines until there was more clarification on whether universities met the requirements in the executive order. On Sept. 24, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force extended the requirement to federal contractors and subcontractors, which includes universities.

The vote was 9 to 3. Those members who voted against the motion claimed they did not have enough time to review the motion which was sent to them late Sunday night. Other Board members countered that this was something the Board has been discussing for weeks.

Trustees Teresa Hubbard, Jeanne Carter Luckey and Gregory Rader were the dissenting votes.

Biden’s executive allows vaccine exemptions for medical reasons and religious beliefs.

Although the official deadline for vaccine compliance is Dec. 8, the mandate requires employees to be fully vaccinated, which is typically considered two weeks after the vaccine dose is administered, which falls on Nov. 24.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations are done in two doses. The second dose for Pfizer must be given 21 days after the first and the second shot of Moderna, 28 days after the first. The Johnson & Johnson vaccination is a one-dose vaccine.

The University of Mississippi had not officially released a statement in regard to the IHL’s vote as of Monday afternoon; however, the school’s website has a listing of upcoming Pfizer vaccine clinics at Johnson Commons.

This is a developing story. Check with for updates.