Mississippi State University employees are no longer required to be vaccinated in order to remain working at the university.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia ruled Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating all covered-contract employees to be vaccinated. The State Institutions of Higher Learning passed a requirement Oct. 25 to comply with the vaccine mandate, but this ruling is no longer effective.
MSU notified employees Tuesday of the mandate halt saying that employees were not required to upload proof of vaccination or request an exemption. MSU Chief of Communications Sid Salter said the university wanted to remove any apprehension regarding this new ruling as soon as possible.
“We just wanted people to know where they stand,” Salter said. “If the mandate is reinstated, we will notify employees just as soon.”
Salter said he has received mixed feedback from employees about the mandate halt, with some upset that employees are not required to be vaccinated anymore, while others are glad they do not have to and can still keep their jobs.
“As with any federal announcement, people will find things to agree and disagree on,” Salter said.
Any university with federal contractors valued at over $250,000 were required to adhere to the policy before it was overturned. The Mississippi University for Women does not hold any federal contractors that exceed this number and was not obligated to comply.
MSU employees proved their vaccination status through the university’s online portal where they submitted a copy of vaccination cards, and this portal will remain open. Salter said the university still urges employees to be vaccinated. MSU employees are encouraged to upload their proof of vaccination for internal purposes, but there is no requirement to do so.