UNM Proposed COVID Vaccine Requirement

UNM’s plans for the Fall are based on the assumption that public health conditions will continue to improve and that a significant proportion of our students, faculty and staff will be vaccinated by the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester. While the University has not made a final decision, we have drafted a vaccine requirement policy for our community’s consideration. On this page, you will find the draft vaccine requirement policy and an initial list of Frequently Asked Questions that aims to answer the most common questions about the draft policy.

Download the Draft Policy

We are asking the university community to review the draft policy and submit feedback, comments, and questions via an online Vaccination Policy Feedback form. Submissions will be reviewed regularly, and responses will be added to the FAQ on an ongoing basis.

Submit Feedback or Questions


This policy would become effective as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for regular use. In anticipation of FDA approval, the UNM community would proactively make all efforts to comply with this policy by August 2.

UNM believes that doing so will support the health and safety of our campus community. It will lower the rate of infection and further the goal of having an on-campus experience that is critical to academic success and personal growth.

Under the proposed policy, all Lobos must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access University facilities, classrooms, housing, programs, services and activities in person, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation.

Under the proposed policy, UNM employees or students accessing any University facilities or programs in person are required to be fully vaccinated, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation.

Under the proposed policy, employees and students employees who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to medical contraindications or precautions recognized by the FDA or CDC, or a qualifying disability, or religious reasons can request a reasonable accommodation by visiting https://oeo.unm.edu/ada/request-an-accommodation.html.  Students requiring accommodations in their academic environment must submit a request to the Accessibility Resource Center.

UNM will not disclose the vaccine status of other individuals to co-workers or fellow students; however, there may be badge attachments, stickers, pins, or other indicators that vaccinated individuals may choose to use to show that they have received the vaccine. Be advised you should not ask other individuals if they are vaccinated.

Please contact the Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity for disability services to discuss your specific situation and reasonable accommodations.

UNM supports the principle that all EUA-authorized vaccines are safe and very effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and in decreasing the odds of hospitalization and death. As stated by the CDC, the best vaccine is the one that you are eligible to receive and that you can get today.

They would be able to apply for exemption and should contact the Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity for disability services to discuss your specific situation and reasonable accommodations.

The proposed requirement is based on guidance from public health experts. We are in a deadly global pandemic, which necessitates taking extra precaution to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Yes. Similar to employees getting their flu shot, UNM staff can use their sick leave, annual leave, or flex time for a COVID-19 vaccine and booster. The leave type should be approved in advance by the supervisor. Employees must provide advance notice to their supervisor.

Employees should contact their supervisors or human resources offices for instruction but as a general matter, sick leave may be used to take time off as needed to recover. Students should contact their faculty/instructors regarding minor illnesses or SHAC to address any significant issues.

Currently all staff, faculty and students must comply with state and local health orders and with UNM COVID Safe Practices, including the use of personal protective equipment or face coverings, adhering to physical distancing standards, frequent hand washing, and regular cleaning and disinfection. Additional safety measures, such as quarantine upon initial arrival to campus and surveillance testing, may be deemed necessary by local public health, environmental health and safety, occupational health, or infection prevention authorities. In that case, a person who has received an approved exception or medical exemption will be informed of any additional requirements.

Employees of contractors, independent contractors, and volunteers who work side-by-side with staff, faculty or students or who have direct contact with patients or students, would be asked to participate in the program.

Initial supplies have been paid for by the federal government. In addition, all of the University’s health plans cover CDC-recommended vaccines administered by an employee’s primary care physician or at a local pharmacy. Students covered by UNM’s Student Health Plan also have CDC approved vaccines covered. Employees covered by non-UNM health plans should check with their health plan for coverage and students should contact SHAC for options.

Efforts would be made to encourage participation by receiving education and either receiving the vaccine or declining the vaccine after receiving an approved exception or medical exemption. Those who, following these efforts, fail to participate entirely, would be barred from in-person access to university facilities and programs, and may experience consequences as a result.

Each campus is developing a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant process that will be communicated soon.