ALBUQUERQUE — Students at one of New Mexico’s largest public universities will be disenrolled if they don’t comply with a vaccine mandate or opt to get tested regularly.

The move is part of the University of New Mexico’s policy for having all students inoculated, whether they’re taking classes in-person or online. New Mexico State University isn’t going that far, but disciplinary measures can include suspension.

Overall, about 70 percent of New Mexicans 18 and over are fully vaccinated, but getting beyond that percentage is proving to be an uphill battle because there still is reluctance among many people to get the shots.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich is among those pushing federal officials to move ahead with vaccines for younger children. Some parents have raised concerns, saying more time is needed to determine the effects of the shots on young children.

The New Mexico senator joined fellow Democrats Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Alex Padilla of California in writing a letter urging Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock to work “as quickly as science allows” to authorize safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12.

“Surging at alarming rates in every region of America, the delta variant has created a new and pressing risk to children and adolescents across the country. This is a risk that requires immediate attention,” the senators wrote, noting more than 5.2 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. since the pandemic began.

In New Mexico, the latest data shows there have been nearly 40,500 pediatric cases overall, with most of those involving kids ages 12 to 17. In the last week, about one-quarter of the state’s new cases have involved kids.

The data also shows cases are trending downward.

At the University of New Mexico, the mandatory vaccine deadline is Thursday for students and staff. The school will require those without proof of vaccination to get tested weekly. Those who don’t comply with the mandates will be dropped from the rolls on or by Nov. 5.

The university also warned that disenrollment will result in termination of student employment.

(4) comments

Lucas Lujan

All this for a death rate smaller than 3 tenth of one percent of the entire state of New Mexico. Everybody is being played. When will the madness stop? Stop ruining our state economy. Every one is so woke these days, aren't you getting tired of it?

Ernest Green

In Santa Fe County the covid statistics show 165 dead over 12,603 cases. This is a mortality rate of 1.3% of those that contract the virus. For the state as a whole current data shows 4,814 dead over 254K cases (a 1.9% mortality rate). For comparison, the fatality rate for measles is 1-2 in 1,000 cases (0.15% mortality rate), for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) the fatality rate is 4.7 in 1,000 cases (0.47% mortality, reduced significantly over the last 15yrs from a rate closer to 1.0%). The risk of course is much higher that one will survive but carry long term effects from infection (scarring and impaired lung function, asthma, etc). To not understand this information at this point and/or to recklessly misrepresent or minimize risk the way you're doing is enormously harmful, it is immoral and malicious. Entities like universities (and school districts, and day care orgs, etc.) then have to consider potential insurance liability risk for negligence or inattention toward matters that can lead to death of their faculty, staff, and student body. Neither math no plaintiff damages operate as concepts of wokeness, they are what they are.

Patricia McMahon

And the insanity continues. Student attending online only? You are straight up nuts

Samuel Herrera

The headline says that school threatens expulsion for unvaccinated students but that does not appear to be the s university’s policy. They allow un-vaccinated students to attend so long at they are tested weekly.

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