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NMSU system ends COVID-19 vaccine, case reporting requirements

New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu. May 21, 2021. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

The New Mexico State University system announced Wednesday that it will end its requirement that all employees and students become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment or enrollment. The requirement has been in place since January 2022 for employees and was extended to in-person students in July 2022.

In a memo issued to the NMSU community Wednesday, Chancellor Dan Arvizu said that while the vaccine requirement had served the university community well during its time, the declining efficacy of the primary series against current variants was a factor in the decision.

“The effectiveness of the primary series on its own waned significantly in the last year due to the evolution of new viral variants,” Arvizu explained. “We strongly encourage everyone to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 boosters, which are effective in reducing the severity of the disease, but our requirement of the primary series of vaccines as a condition of employment or enrollment in the NMSU system is no longer suitable.”

In addition, the university system will no longer require employees and students to report positive cases through its online portal system – though campus resident students are still expected to report positive cases to residence life staff.