Closeup. Covid-19 vaccination record cards issued by CDC, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on a blue disposable face mask - San Jose, California, USA - 2021

As the fall semester begins for all levels of education, some schools are cracking down harder than ever on mandating COVID-19 vaccinations — and not just for faculty and students. Announced earlier this week as reported by, Duke University in Durham, North Carolina is requiring documented proof of vaccination for all employees including frontline cleaning staff and facility managers. 

Certain exemptions exist such as for religious or medical purposes, but in all other instances a deadline of 10 AM on Oct. 1 has been set. Those who are approved for exemption will still be required to undergo routine testing, wear a mask and follow other protocols.

Ninety-one percent of all employees have already been vaccinated, but the ones that remain will be put on administrative leave with one week to receive either the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the initial dose of Pfizer or Moderna. If the requirements aren’t met within that week period, employees will be terminated without consideration for a re-hire. For those who receive their first doses of either Pfizer or Moderna within those guidelines, a second six-week period will be granted to show proof of the second dose before also being terminated under the same parameters. 

It remains to be seen how many universities will follow a similar template, but for frontline staff across the country it could serve as a realistic template if mandates are put in place. For more information on vaccines, particularly plans for a September roll-out of booster doses, click here