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Two vaccine cards sit on top of each other. UNM is considering lifting its current COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

UNM considers COVID-19 vaccine mandate lift


On Feb. 6, the University of New Mexico’s Office of the President's communications team shared that the UNM administration is debating lifting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, staff and faculty via email.

The debate on whether or not to lift the vaccination mandate was brought to light based on recommendations from the University’s Health Protocols Committee and a discussion with the administration.

“While we know that COVID-19 is not over and that we must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves against the virus, it is transitioning into a more manageable endemic phase in our state and across the country,” UNM President Garnett S. Stokes wrote in the email.

The registration and enrollment process for current and future students are essential parts of the discussion. The lift also affects the employment process for current and future job postings.

The Administrative Mandate requiring the COVID-19 vaccine was initially issued on Aug. 5, 2021, which led to the disenrolling of 256 UNM students at the time.

The University will provide the community with a virtual forum on Thursday, Feb. 16 at noon with medical experts and administrators where they can learn about the latest scientific data about the virus, ask questions and provide feedback. The community has been asked to submit any questions or comments in advance for the virtual event by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10. There will be an opportunity for Q&A during the session, according to the email.

“My sincerest gratitude to all of you for your continued diligence. Through your efforts, UNM has led in setting a high bar for safety and well-being during the pandemic,” Stokes wrote.

Still, even if the university decides to lift the vaccine mandate, UNM Health and Health Sciences clinical areas will continue to maintain the requirement, according to the email.

Annya Loya is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @annyaloya 

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