PULLMAN, Wash. — With internal verification efforts nearly complete, more than 94% of Washington State University employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. Student vaccination rates also are high and vary by campus.
“Our students, faculty and staff have stepped up in a tremendous way,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “We’ve reached impressive vaccination levels, carefully evaluated exemption requests and have come through this process in a way that is enabling us to continue providing a robust in-person experience.”
Under the state’s vaccine mandate, all state employees, including those in public universities, are required as a condition of employment to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine or an exemption for either documented medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs.
State vaccine mandate
Of the approximately 10,000 full- and part-time employees system-wide, 94% are fully vaccinated, while 3% have received religious exemptions and 1% have received medical exemptions.
The remaining 2% include employees who have initiated the vaccination process and are on leave until they are considered fully vaccinated and can return to the workplace, as well as those whose vaccination status is still being verified or are still awaiting exemption request determinations. It also includes a small number of special circumstances such as employees who are away from the workplace on extended leave.
Formal employment separation proceedings have been initiated with 23 employees. Separations can occur either as a result of non-compliance with the state mandate or an inability to accommodate a religious or medical exemption in a way that would protect community health.
More information, along with campus-by-campus breakdowns is available online.
Additionally, the university required vaccines for students as well. With the overwhelming majority of students submitting documentation, the vaccination rates are at 89% or higher for each of WSU’s five physical campuses. The Pullman and Spokane campuses top the list at 96% each.
Detailed figures can be found online.
Proof of compliance was required for those moving in to university housing on the Pullman campus for the fall semester. There was a Sept. 10 deadline for students and registration holds for spring semester were placed on those who have not submitted proof of vaccination or received an approved medical or religious exemption.