Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

Doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

Leaders at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are considering a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for staff, faculty and non-resident students learning on campus.

UAF already requires all students living in congregate dormitory housing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

UAF Chancellor Dan White has asked UA President Pat Pitney to approve the expanded vaccine requirement, according to a letter sent Oct. 1 to the UA community.

Pitney said that the chancellor’s recommendation was based on formal requests for a shot mandate from faculty, staff and student governance groups.

White took into consideration the high Covid case count in Alaska, the high rate of positive Covid test results and virus transmission levels in the greater Fairbanks area.

Pitney indicated that the “residential nature of the Fairbanks campus,” as well as the number of in-person classes and programs, influenced White’s decision to make the request.

The request for non-residential, in-person students would take effect for the spring semester. Students living in the dorms already are required to get the vaccine.

The new requirement could become effective sooner for employees pending an implementation plan, according to Pitney's letter.

“This requirement would apply to system office employees in Fairbanks as well, and exemptions for medical and religious reasons will be considered,” Pitney said.

Pitney said she plans to have an update in two weeks.

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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