KU, KState, BCBS pause employee COVID vaccine mandates in light of court ruling

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State University and the University of Kansas both announced plans Tuesday to pause their requirements for employees to be vaccinated against COVID.

The move comes in light of a federal judge issuing a temporary injunction, blocking the Biden administration’s mandate for federal contractors.

“The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students remains our top priority,” K-State President Richard Myers said in a news release. “We encourage people to get vaccinated if they have not done so already. Vaccines are free and widely available. They have been proven safe after millions of inoculations and continue to offer strong protection against COVID-19.”

Both K-State and KU say they will continue to monitor the situation.

Please continue to take steps to protect your health and the health of those around you,” KU Chancellor Doug Girod and Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety and Operations Mike Rounds said in a joint statement. “If you have not yet been fully vaccinated, we encourage you to do so. If you are eligible for a booster, we encourage you to seek out that opportunity. Thank you for everything you are doing to help KU fulfill its mission while prioritizing health and safety.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas also said it will pause its vaccine mandate for the same reason.

“Blue Cross is considered a federal contractor and was required to follow the guidance laid out in the Executive Order,” BCBS stated in a news release. “As a healthcare company, health and well-being is our number one priority; we still encourage our employees and all Kansans to receive the vaccine as a way to protect themselves from the virus.”

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