FAQ

FAQ: UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations

 

  1. Why did UNM move from a vaccination incentive program to a vaccination requirement?

    UNM continually monitors health conditions in Bernalillo County and adjusts its health requirements and protocols accordingly to ensure the safety of the UNM community. UNM is responding to the increase in COVID-19 transmission and infection, and to vaccination rates that are lower than optimal for community protection from COVID-19 infection.

    The UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations reflects UNM’s investment in protecting the health of our students and employees, as well as the greater New Mexico population, by requiring employee and student vaccination or approved medical, religious and other exemptions. Individuals receiving approved exemptions will need to demonstrate negative test results for COVID-19.

    More information on the vaccination requirement is available. 

    If you are seeking exemption from the vaccine requirement exemption forms must be completed and uploaded. Vaccination documents and completed exemption forms should be uploaded at the UNM vaccination verification site.

    There are consequences for non-compliance, which could include disenrollment for students and suspension or separation from employment for faculty and staff.

  2. If I am a full-time online student for the Fall 2021 semester, am I still required to get the vaccine? I do not use any UNM facilities and don’t expect to be on campus at all.

    While UNM still strongly encourages its remote students to be vaccinated, students who are entirely online may request an exemption, which will also require them to attest that they will not be utilizing any UNM facilities in Fall 2021.

  3. I cannot receive the vaccine due to health concerns, what should I do?
    1. Please complete the appropriate exemption form.
    2. Upload the completed remote exemption form on the UNM vaccination verification site. The request will then be reviewed by the office of Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity.
    3. Expect an e-mail response [note that high volume may lengthen response time].
    4. Be prepared to receive periodic e-mail requests to upload proof of a negative PCR test result for samples collected and tested within 7 days of the upload.

  4. Vaccination is against my religious beliefs. What should I do?
    1. Please complete the appropriate exemption form.
    2. Upload the completed remote exemption form on the UNM vaccination verification site. The request will then be reviewed by the office of Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity.
    3. Expect an e-mail response [note that high volume may lengthen response time].
    4. Be prepared to receive periodic e-mail requests to upload proof of a negative PCR test result for samples collected and tested within 7 days of the upload.

  5. I don’t want a medical or religious exemption; I just don’t believe in vaccines. What should I do?

    You may want to speak directly with your own medical provider and. talk about the options that are right for you to protect your health, and the health of those around you.

  6. I applied for an exemption and didn’t receive one. I don't agree with the decision that was made on my exemption request and/or I believe that I have met the conditions of the mandate, but I have received a notice of pending disenrollment and registration hold. What do I do?

    After October 1, 2021, please submit an appeal to mandateappeals@unm.edu. Read more about the appeals process.

  7. Okay, I have been granted an exemption. What now?

    Students who receive a medical or health-related exemption are welcome to continue in-person classes and to use UNM facilities, provided they are masked both indoors and outside.

    COVID-19 testing for students who elect testing after October 1, 2021 will be weekly, with the frequency subject to change based on public health needs. The sample must be collected in the seven (7) days prior to submission of test results to the UNM Vaccine Verification site. Tests must be validated by a laboratory or medical provider and must be viral tests with samples collected from the nose or mouth. The State of New Mexico provides free at-home testing in partnership with Vault Medical Services. These tests must be taken under medical observation in a virtual visit and then mailed to the Vault laboratories. In addition, appointments for COVID-19 tests are available in a variety of locations.

    Please note that SHAC is not available for testing for this testing of asymptomatic students; their clinical capacity is reserved for students who are sick. As of September 1, 2021, testing was free in the State of New Mexico, but any ultimate costs for testing (including transportation and mailing) will be borne by the student receiving the test. Students should retain records of appointments or mailing and submit these records to the vaccination verification site in cases in which they have not received test results on time for weekly upload. In such cases, students should upload test results as soon as they receive them. Repeated failure to submit test results by the date identified in the test result request sent to the student will result in disciplinary action, including possible disenrollment.

  8. But I’ve already had COVID! Am I still required to be vaccinated?

    Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19, especially as new COVID-19 variants emerge. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Visit the CDC website to learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

  9. I will only have received my first shot by September 30. What will happen?

    Please upload documentation about your first shot to the vaccination verification site. As soon as you can, upload documentation of your second shot. We at UNM want you to be able to continue your education and we want to keep the community safe. We value your good faith effort to comply with the mandate.

    While disciplinary action won't be initiated immediately if you show proof of your first shot by September 30, there are consequences for not uploading proof of the second shot in a timely way—so please update your record immediately after receiving that second shot.

  10. I am vaccinated, but I don’t have my vaccination card. What can I do?

    New Mexicans can visit www.vaxviewnm.org to obtain their immunization record, which should show that they’ve completed the vaccine series (assuming the provider has correctly reported it to NMSIIS already). This can then be uploaded to the UNM vaccination verification site.

  11. I don’t want to upload my vaccination information electronically. What other options do I have to get you a copy of my card?

    UNM follows extensive compliance and security procedures in maintaining electronic records. Electronic upload via the UNM vaccination verification site offers a secure means of adding, reviewing, and archiving the record.

  12. I’m still really mad about this. Where can I express my opinion?

    Please send your comments to the Office of the Provost at provost@unm.edu.

  13. I am a student. What happens if I don’t provide proof of vaccination or of an exemption?

    Beginning October 1, 2021, students who do not meet the vaccination requirement will receive a notice of prospective disciplinary action, which could result in disenrollment.

  14. I am an employee. What happens if I don’t provide proof of vaccination or of an exemption?

    Beginning October 1, 2021, employees who do not meet the vaccination requirement receive a notice of prospective disciplinary action, which could result in separation from employment.

  15. Because the vaccine is now a requirement by UNM, will you be accommodating students who are not vaccinated by offering ALL classes as an online option?

    No. The current class schedule, with a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online offerings will not be changed. Students may request accommodations by working with the Accessibility Resource Center. Possible accommodations for students may include attending class remotely, but only in cases in which the instructor agrees that remote attendance will not lessen the learning experience and only when the student has a documented need for an accessibility accommodation.

  16. Will students registered for in-person classes automatically be switched to online classes as a result of no proof of vaccination, or without an exemption?

    Students have until September 30, 2021 to submit proof of vaccination or of a UNM validated exemption on the UNM vaccination verification site. Students will not be automatically switched to online classes. Beginning October 1, 2021, students will receive notification of prospective disciplinary action, including possible disenrollment.

  17. Will I be dropped from my classes if I don’t get vaccinated?

    No. Students have until September 30, 2021, to submit proof of vaccination or request a UNM validated exemption on the UNM vaccination verification site. Students will not be automatically switched to online classes or dropped from classes, but beginning October 1, 2021, students who do not meet the vaccination requirement will receive a  notice of prospective disciplinary action, which could result in disenrollment.

  18. Will there be a policy/procedure in place for students who are not vaccinated by September 30?

    Yes. Beginning October 1, 2021, students will receive notification of disciplinary action—including possible disenrollment—for failure to follow the UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations.

  19. If I refuse to get the vaccine, how would that reflect on my school record?

    If you are disenrolled for failure to comply with the vaccination requirement, you will receive a "W" as the final grade for your Fall 2021 courses and the code CV (COVID Vaccination requirement) will be inscribed in your UNM record.

  20. What happens to my student loan, grant, financial aid if I get disenrolled for failure to comply with the mandate?

    Disenrollment from the University will result in termination of student employment, including graduate student contracts. For students who have Fall 2021 financial aid resources (e.g. scholarships, loans, grants and/or work study), future eligibility for such aid may be impacted. Semester withdrawals can affect future financial aid eligibility. For questions regarding eligibility, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office. For more information, please consult the Financial Aid FAQ.

  21. Can I meet with my advisor to discuss transferring out of UNM because I don’t want to vaccinate?

    Yes. You can schedule an appointment with your advisor on Lobo Achieve (main campus students) or, if you are a branch campus student, with your regular branch campus advisor. Consider talking with your doctor or a medical provider at Student Health and Counseling so that you can make an informed decision about vaccination.

  22. What happens to my housing if I get disenrolled for failure to comply with the mandate?

    Students who withdraw or are disenrolled will not be permitted to continue residency in University of New Mexico owned campus housing. Students may receive a partial refund on housing managed by University of New Mexico and meal plan contracts depending upon the date of withdrawal or disenrollment. Residents of Casas del Rio and Lobo Village are not eligible for a partial refund of housing fees because their contracts are with American Campus Communities and not the University of New Mexico.

  23. How will people in housing be notified if residents are not vaccinated or do not have an exemption in place?

    Individual residents will not be administratively notified about the vaccination status of their peers. Administrative leadership will be notified so that disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from UNM housing, can be taken in cases in which students have not complied with the UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations or their UNM Housing contract.

  24. Can I get a refund on my tuition and fees if I get disenrolled for failure to comply with the mandate?

    Students who withdraw or are disenrolled after the regular refund deadline for their course type (in many but not all cases, September 10, 2021) will not be eligible for tuition and fee refunds. Please also note that textbooks and course materials purchased through the University Bookstore are also nonrefundable.

  25. I’m a student, and I think I may have been exposed to COVID in a class or a residence hall. What should I do?
    1. Take a minute to understand what constitutes a Close Contact to someone with COVID. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period who has COVID-19. Read the CDC Quarantine Guidelines.
    2. If you are VACCINATED and NOT having any symptoms (asymptomatic), we recommend that you follow the advice of the CDC and get tested on days 3-5 after the exposure. You will need to schedule this testing at a community location as we do not have the capacity for asymptomatic testing on the UNM campus. This test needs to be a viral test to be valid. Find a testing location near you at the New Mexico Department of Health website. We also strongly advise you to:
      • Wear a mask in all public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result.
      • Monitor yourself for any COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days and immediately seek medical advice if symptoms occur.
    3. If you are UNVACCINATED and NOT having any symptoms (asymptomatic):
      • You will need to schedule a COVID-19 viral test at a community location as well. Find a testing location near you at the New Mexico Department of Health website.
      • While waiting to get your test results back, you must self-quarantine for 14 days, or until you receive a negative test result, to prevent the possibility of transmitting the virus to others. That means:
        • Stay in your residence or room; if you must leave, stay at least 6 feet away from other people at all times
        • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
        • Wear a mask at all times when you are outside of your room or home (which includes walking to a shared bathroom)
        • Attend classes remotely, not in person, while in quarantine
        • Utilize carryout or mobile ordering pickup for food service
        • Have no visitors in your room or home or participate in any in-person socializing
        • Clean any shared spaces before and after use
        • Wash your hands frequently
        • Wipe bathroom surfaces with sanitizer/disinfectant before and after use
        • Monitor yourself for flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, body aches)
    4. If your test comes back positive:
      • You must self-report immediately.
      • Call SHAC at 505-277-3136 (or your own medical provider) if you are having symptoms or other concerns.
      • Begin self-isolating following the NM Department of Health Self-Isolating Guidelines
      • If you have mild symptoms or no symptoms, you do not necessarily need to seek medical care.
      • Notify your faculty regarding the length of time that you will be unable to attend face to face activities. Your UNM faculty will not require a medical release for this.
      • You may be contacted by contact tracers from the NM Department of Health to determine the extent of your exposure. Please cooperate with this process to prevent the risk of additional infections.

    Have questions related to COVID-19? Call the New Mexico Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at: 1-855-600-3453.

  26. Can the general public still use University facilities? How does this mandate affect those who visit the campus who aren’t UNM faculty, staff, or students?

    Members of the general public must wear masks indoors and may not be granted access to certain UNM indoor facilities. They should follow the guidance for visitors on campus.

  27. As a faculty member, how will I know which students in my classes are vaccinated?

    Academic Affairs and Human Resources will administer the process for validation of vaccination and exemptions, will administer the process for requiring COVID-19 tests for those for whom it is required, and will inform supervisors or other appropriate officials when it is necessary to start progressive disciplinary action— including possible denial of access to critical facilities and resources—related to failure to follow the UNM Administrative Mandate on Required Vaccinations. Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity will review medical and religious exemption requests. UNM Online will review Student Accelerated Online Program Exemption Requests. Verification is not the responsibility or purview of instructors or supervisors.

  28. How will UNM handle K-12 students in special programs on UNM campuses?

    K-12 students should wear masks indoors. If they are in music programs, follow the mask guidance provided by the Chair of the Department of Music and the Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Parents or guardians must complete the minors on campus form. UNM will not collect and verify vaccination information for K-12 students unless they are over the age of 12 and enrolled in dual credit or concurrent enrollment courses taking place on UNM main or branch campuses.

  29. How will UNM verify students’ vaccine status for use of facilities such as football and basketball games and classrooms?

    While UNM does not require proof of vaccination for admittance to University Stadium or University Arena, we are doing everything we can to ensure visitors are as safe as possible at our sporting venues, including adopting touchless ticketing, parking, and concessions, and encouraging mask wearing. That could change, however, as we continue to monitor COVID patterns across the State.

  30. Do you provide food for students who are self-isolating?

    UNM offers drive up access to the Lobo Food Pantry. Students in UNM Student Housing may receive assistance accessing meals. UNM is not able to deliver food off campus.

  31. Should the branch campuses and Continuing Education track the vaccination status of their students in Adult Education programs and in Continuing Education? These students do not have UNM banner IDs.

    Continuing Education and Adult Education students are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. They are required to comply with COVID-safe practices, including wearing masks indoors. Unless they have banner IDs, these individuals are considered visitors on campus and should follow visitors on campus guidelines.

  32. Are vendors/contractors subject to this policy?

    UNM is pleased that its vendors and contractors have indicated they will comply with the University’s vaccination requirement. Consequently, any vendors, including those at Lobo Village, are required to be vaccinated.

  33. Will visitors or volunteers be required to show proof of vaccination to enter UNM facilities?

    No, this policy does not include visitors, volunteers. Certain visitors and/or volunteers (such as in research labs) may voluntarily provide proof of vaccine status or may be subject to additional COVID-Safe Practices, including daily screening.

  34. There are concerns of data security, especially in light of the breach at HSC. How will the data be stored and what assurances do staff/student/faculty have that their information is secure?

    UNM collects COVID vaccination information to help ensure a safe campus environment for employees and students. Uploaded vaccination cards are not shared. COVID vaccination information will be shared internally only when there is a legitimate business need for the purposes of implementing particular accommodations and for providing a safe campus environment for the UNM community.

  35. What are the rules for on campus interviews?

    Required to wear a mask and follow other COVID-Safe Practices.

  36. For employees who are required to obtain a COVID test, are they able to utilize annual/sick leave?

    Yes, they would be authorized to utilize sick/annual leave.

  37. Are we able to provide confirmation of those individuals who have already uploaded their vaccination card?

    There is validation taking place and follow up will be done to determine who has not completed the Vaccine Verification. Reports will be created that will allow HR Agents to access vaccine information.

  38. With the rise in COVID cases, will the Daily Screening be brought back?

    Not for employees but may be used for certain categories of visitors, volunteers, or vendors/contractors that have not disclosed they are vaccinated.

  39. What are the chances of returning to limited operations?

    UNM will continue to monitor COVID in NM and make decisions based on that data.

  40. Are we notifying applicants of the Vaccine Mandate?

    Yes, we have added a field to the UNMJobs posting, indicating the requirement. We have also added an onboarding task for all new hires and will include information in the New Employee Experience.

  41. How much time will we provide new hires and rehires to become compliant with the Vaccine Mandate?
    New and rehired employees in all classifications (regular, term, on-call, temporary, and non-credit earning teachers) will be required to demonstrate compliance with the vaccine mandate on or before their start date of employment.