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UAF applies COVID-19 vaccine requirement across single-student residence halls

New mandates require students to receive either a COVID-19 vaccine or an approved waiver before...
New mandates require students to receive either a COVID-19 vaccine or an approved waiver before staying in an on-campus dorm.(Ryan Osborne)
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:31 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The fall 2021 semester is in full swing at The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and students are moving into the dorms. Based on the continued growth of the delta variant in the Fairbanks community and the lifting of the emergency use declaration for the Pfizer vaccine, UAF has been granted permission to join UAA (Anchorage) and UAS (Southeast) by implementing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement across single-student residence halls.

UAF Chancellor Dan White explained, “The big news this week was that we announced that students who were electing to live in the residence halls at UAF would either need to get vaccinated for COVID-19, or have an approved waiver - and there are waivers available for medical reasons and for non-medical reasons, which would be religious reasons.”

There are currently no blanket vaccination requirements for employees, though a discussion as to whether or not such a requirement will be implemented in the future is ongoing at the system level.

Based on move-in reports, White says the majority of students living on campus are already vaccinated. “Most students have already moved into the residence halls. We already believe that more than 80% of the students have been vaccinated already, so it’s a matter of the remaining students getting vaccinated. Of course it takes time to be [fully] vaccinated so the deadline is October 29th for students to do that.”

The Pfizer vaccine will be available at a pop up clinic that will be taking place September 9th on campus at the Akasofu building. White said “Probably the most convenient way that students can receive a COVID-19 vaccine is to just go on over to the student health and counseling center and they have appointments that are easy to make. They can go over at any time, get an appointment, show up and get a vaccine. We’re doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students and working with our community. As we see changes in the community, the community’s capacity for healthcare and the case numbers, we’ll continue to adapt.”

UAF is asking students to fill out a COVID-19 vaccination voluntary attestation form to confirm their vaccination status. Currently 1,627 employees and students have attested. This form can be accessed and filled out here.

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