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COVID-19 booster shot now condition of employment for all Duke faculty, staff members

Duke will require that all faculty and staff members receive the COVID-19 booster shot as a condition of employment, per a Tuesday afternoon memo from Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh and Carol Epling, director of Employee Occupational Health & Wellness.

Faculty and staff must receive and show documentation of their completed vaccination by 10 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2022 or within 28 days of their eligibility under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines.

Anyone who does not receive the booster or have an approved exemption by that time is issued a Final Written Warning and placed on administrative leave. Accrued vacation or discretionary holiday time may be used if available; if not, the leave will be unpaid. After the seven days, anyone not compliant will be “terminated and not recommended for rehire.”

Those who received medical or religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are also exempt from receiving the booster and do not need to reapply for exemption. Unvaccinated faculty and staff will still have to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and complete daily symptom monitoring.

Faculty and staff who received their booster through Employee Occupational Health & Wellness do not need to provide additional documentation. Those who received the booster in the community, such as at a retail pharmacy or Duke patient clinic, need to submit an image of their vaccination documentation through the Duke VaxTrax system.

Duke recently mandated the COVID-19 booster shot for all students, faculty and staff. Cavanaugh told The Chronicle in a Tuesday afternoon email that more than 4,000 students and 21,000 faculty and staff members across the University and Duke University Health System have provided documentation of a booster.

The memo was sent to all vice presidents, vice provosts, deans, directors, department heads and managers and was obtained by The Chronicle.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.


Leah Boyd | Editor-in-Chief

Leah Boyd is a Pratt junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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