LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nov. 1 marked a vaccine mandate deadline for thousands of students and health care workers in Southern Nevada.

Students at public universities in Nevada can’t enroll for the spring semester without showing proof of vaccination unless they have an approved exemption.

The director of the vaccine site at UNLV said Monday night over the last week, there have been more students arriving for vaccinations. However, many were specifically looking for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson, presumably ahead of the deadline. The site at UNLV is currently out of stock of the one-shot vaccine.

More than 22,000 of the roughly 30,000 students at UNLV had submitted their COVID vaccine records by Monday afternoon.

"It was kind of just a no-brainer since I’m graduating, I didn't want something as simple as a vaccine to prevent me from getting my degree," UNLV senior Kim Savage said.

Although Monday is the initial deadline, UNLV said students can still complete their vaccination through the spring registration process, which ends in January.

"I don’t think it was the right move. I think it's up to the student to make that choice whether they want to get vaccinated or not," UNLV junior Ajak Ajak said.

Monday was also the deadline for many hospitals around the valley, too. At UMC, 98.5% of full-time employees are either vaccinated or submitted a medical or religious exemption. A spokesperson for the hospital said workers who aren’t vaccinated won’t be allowed back to work.

UMC said they may lose a “handful” of employees, but CEO Mason Van Houweling said they anticipate an increased level of interest from highly qualified applicants in the field.

“This vaccination policy reflects UMC’s commitment to employee health and safety, making us an attractive option for medical professionals who value a safe work environment," Van Houweling said.

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals is taking a slightly different approach to the Nov. 1 deadline. Any employees not approved for an exemption will be able to continue to work in an attempt to prevent staffing shortages, but the company will look to fill their position. That could ultimately lead to their termination.

unlv vaccine

A vaccine is prepared at UNLV on Jan. 20, 2021.

"These employees will be subject to additional masking and testing requirements, and will have every opportunity to remain with our organization if they choose to get vaccinated," the company told FOX5.

More than 90% of employees there are vaccinated.

Nevada Department of Corrections workers, including correctional officers at Nevada state prisons, are also subject to the mandate.

Employees at all Nevada System of Higher Education schools also have a vaccine mandate. That deadline is Dec. 1.


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