UL professor challenging COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Posted at 10:42 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 23:42:12-05

Faculty and staff at UL Lafayette are facing a deadline when it comes to covid vaccines, and tonight we're getting a better picture of the vaccination status on campus.

Because the university has millions of dollars in federal research contracts, the university must adhere to federal vaccine guidelines, meaning faculty and staff have until January fourth to get vaccinated.

The majority of faculty and staff here on campus are already fully vaccinated, but hundreds still haven't provided any vaccine records...

As of November 5th, about 79% of faculty and staff are fully vaccinated, another five percent have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

That leaves 16% of faculty and staff or 675 people, who have not provided vaccine documentation and are potentially unvaccinated.

According to the university's guidelines, if they don't get vaccinated by January 4th, they won't be allowed to work on campus, and they can be placed on either unpaid leave or paid suspension.

KATC spoke with one faculty member today who falls in that category.

They are unvaccinated and plan to challenge the mandate. They've asked us to conceal their identity.

"I am standing firm and not getting vaccinated for my own personal reasons, and I am standing arm and arm with anybody else that feels that way, for whatever reason it is. It’s very frustrating and it is very emotional every day to go in and know that not know if I need to pick my office or if I am going to what's next."

The federal mandate does allow for accommodations based on disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs.

According to the university's numbers, as of Friday, there had not been any requests.

The professor we spoke with says they did file a request but found out it was denied Wednesday morning.

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