ALABAMA – Four major universities in Alabama will be requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees.

Friday, the University of Alabama System and Auburn University announced that all employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, unless they have an approved medical, disability, or religious exemption.

The requirement applies to the UA System (which oversees the University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Alabama in Birmingham, and University of Alabama’s main campus in Tuscaloosa) and Auburn because both universities have federal contracts.

Under Executive Order 14042, signed by President Joe Biden in September, federal workers and contractors who do business with the federal government are required to be vaccinated – with no option to test weekly instead.

“Because this vaccination requirement is mandated by the federal government, our institutions do not have flexibility in its application or enforcement. Failure to comply will place our universities in jeopardy of losing hundreds of millions of dollars received through federal contracts and awards, as well as thousands of jobs funded by those dollars. This outcome would severely impact our institutions’ teaching, research and service capabilities and could hamper economic development activity.”

University of Alabama System/Auburn University Joint Statement

Both systems notified employees of the vaccine requirement Friday and said they will closely monitor the executive order along with other education institutions across Alabama.