LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – There’s a new push on the University of Kentucky’s campus for a vaccine mandate.
Some groups have sent in letters to the university, asking for the requirement. Currently, there isn’t a mandate, but UK officials are strongly recommending that students and staff get vaccinated.
Right now, people on campus have two options when it comes to COVID-19 – get vaccinated or get tested on a weekly basis.
Some on campus want COVID-19 vaccines to be mandatory. On Monday, the university senate adopted a resolution urging campus officials to implement the measure.
Last week, more than 2,000 faculty, staff, and students also signed a petition. University spokesperson Jay Blanton says officials are listening to people’s concerns buts notes enforcing a vaccine mandate would bring a lot of challenges.
“Lets be honest, vaccine mandates in our country are a divisive issue. It’s a polarizing issue,” Blanton said. “There are lots of people in our country, there are lots of people on our campus who have different views. Some are for it. Some are against the mandate. Our question is what’s the best way to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
Blanton says more than 80 percent of the campus is vaccinated.
Officials believe providing incentives is the best way to encourage others to get the shots. Students incentives include game day tickets and gift kids. One student will even have the chance to win a full ride scholarship.
Blanton says the university is finalizing employee incentives which may include free parking and cash prizes.
Soon, the university will also announce disciplinary measures for unvaccinated people who do not comply with the weekly testing requirement.
Even though a vaccine mandate is not in place, university officials say that option is not off the table.