University of Hawaii Introduces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Effective January 2022

The University of Hawaii announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees and students, which will take effect on January 3, 2022.

The university will require all employees and students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an approved exemption for medical or religious reasons by this date, including those working remotely.

Those employees, who are partially vaccinated as of January 3, must present a regular negative test result until two weeks after being fully vaccinated, Erudera.com reports.

“The COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are highly effective at preventing COVID-19, as well as at preventing serious illness even in those who do contract COVID-19. A fully vaccinated campus community enables the best opportunity for a healthy return to high-quality face-to-face teaching, learning and research,” the new employee policy states.

In an email sent to employees, the UH Office of Human Resources (OHR) said that the decision had been taken based on the latest federal and state guidance in consultation with the UH President COVID-19 Team and the UH Health and Well-Being working group, involving UH medical and public health experts.

According to a media release issued by the University of Hawaii, employees who do not adhere to the requirement will face discipline, including dismissals.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated students and those less than fully vaccinated may be unable to participate in some educational activities, even if the test results are negative.

“Students who (1) are less than Fully Vaccinated, do not have an approved Exemption, and do not comply with the Testing Requirement, or (2) are Partially Vaccinated and do not comply with the Testing Requirement, may not enter any University Site, may be disenrolled from in-person courses without tuition reimbursement, and may be subject to appropriate corrective actions for a violation of the student conduct code if they enter a University Site,” the university points out.

Students who are partially vaccinated will also be required to provide proof of partial vaccination or show a negative COVID-19 test before entering the university campus. Whereas, those who enroll only in online courses will not be subject to the COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirement, as they are expected to participate only in virtual activities. 

Similarly, more than 800 universities and colleges in the United States have required students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated against COVID-19. So far, at Harvard University, 97 percent of employees and 96 percent of students are vaccinated for COVID-19. Meanwhile, at Yale University, the vaccination rate stands as follows:

  • 99.5 percent of undergraduate students
  • 98.2 percent of graduate & professional students
  • 96.5 percent faculty
  • 92.7 percent of staff

At Stanford University, some 18,212 students have proven that they are fully vaccinated.

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