The University of Mississippi is suspending efforts to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after a federal court in Georgia issued a nationwide injunction Tuesday prohibiting the federal government from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal contractors.
The Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning gave university leaders the authority to follow the federal government’s executive order and related guidance as long as the order was not stayed, delayed or revoked.
“Since the executive order was stayed, the university is suspending its efforts to require vaccination of our employees,” said UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce in an email Wednesday morning. “The vaccination requirement for those in an institutional clinical setting, which was permitted through separate board actions taken in August and September, shall remain in effect.”
Boyce thanked the faculty, staff and student employees who have been vaccinated.
“I especially want to express my appreciation to those who acted promptly to submit their vaccination record or request for an accommodation,” he said. “Our community mobilized quickly in response to the mandate, and I appreciate the commitment shown by thousands of employees to respond.”
The university committee reviewing all pending requests for accommodation will put those requests on hold unless and until the mandate is reinstated.
Boyce said the university will continue to monitor any developments in the courts and if the mandate is reinstated by a court, the university will adjust its efforts to comply.
Boyce concluded his email by encouraging employees to get their vaccinations.
“While this action stays the mandate, the benefits of getting vaccinated are clear,” he said. “As we approach the year-end holiday season when we will gather with family and friends, I urge everyone to make it a priority to protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated.”