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Friday, December 03, 2021
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UW-System to comply with President Biden’s federal employee vaccine mandate

The University of Wisconsin System announced Wednesday that it will comply with President Joe Biden’s vaccine order mandating that all federal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

“We cannot afford to jeopardize millions of dollars in federal contracts, which are integral to our academic and research missions," UW-System President Tommy Thompson said in a statement about the decision according to the Wisconsin State Journal. "Therefore, we intend to be in compliance with the federal executive order on vaccine mandates.” 

Issued in September, the executive order highlights Center for Disease Control (CDC) instruction that getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The health and safety of the Federal workforce, and the health and safety of members of the public with whom they interact, are foundational to the efficiency of the civil service,” the Sept. 9 executive order reads. 

United States Office of Personnel Management guidance emphasizes that within this order, all federal employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021, and that employees that choose to not comply will be met with disciplinary action. Agencies may begin to enforce the requirement as soon as Nov. 9, 2021, given the dosage requirements of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as the two-week waiting period before an individual can be considered fully vaccinated. 

As of Wednesday, 81% of faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and 95% of employees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

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