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Community members,   On Sept. 10, I reported to you that we had surpassed our initial goal of vaccinating more than 80 percent of our community.   Today, I can report that our commitment to each other remains strong, as we are moving quickly toward 90 percent of our campus being partially or fully vaccinated. As of last night, we were approaching 87 percent as a campus community. You can review all the latest numbers here.   We’ve sustained these increases over several weeks now – a reflection of your commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our entire community. Now, it’s time to take another step forward.   As part of our effort to continue our momentum, soon we will require all new hires to the university — including new student employees — to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. This step will help us maintain our vaccination percentage as we move toward 90 percent.   Here are the details for employees outside of the UK HealthCare setting:

  • We will begin including the vaccine requirement for new hires with any job posting starting Oct. 4.
  • The requirement for vaccination among new UK employees will take effect with any job offers extended, beginning Oct. 18.
  • We will work with hiring officials and managers on how they must revise their screening process in phone interviews to ensure they address the requirement as they conduct the hiring process.
  • As with other vaccine mandates, our procedure with new hires also will include a process for religious and medical exemptions.

Within the UK HealthCare setting, COVID vaccination is required of all new employees and has been posted in all UKHC job descriptions since September 8, 2021. Individuals accepting a job offer after September 15, 2021, are required to submit their vaccination status or receive an approved medical or religious exemption as a condition of employment. Read the COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-Employment Protocol for Hiring Officials. The bottom line: vaccines work.   Vaccines are the most effective and safest tool to protect against serious illness from COVID-19. They are the best hope — without question — for us to continue our return to the campus life and experience we all want. We have begun to enjoy this experience more with our students, faculty and staff this semester because of our rising numbers of vaccinated community members.    Our progress is undeniable. Our goal is to continue to find ways to build upon that momentum.   I also know there are questions now about booster shots. We are working on an operations plan for boosters, consistent with the guidance we are receiving from the federal government. We will communicate more information about our efforts as soon as possible.   Finally, here’s a brief breakdown of our vaccine numbers, which you can read in full on our dashboard:

  • UK Campus (Not UK HealthCare): 85 percent
  • UK HealthCare: 91 percent
  • Students: 84 percent
  • Faculty: 93 percent
  • Staff: 89 percent

We can reach 90 percent.   Because of the resolve and resilience of this special place, I believe we will.   Thank you for what you do to advance Kentucky and protect each other.   Eli Capilouto President