MCCCD halts enforcement of vaccine mandate; other AZ higher ed institutions unsure

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 2:45pm

The Maricopa County Community College District announced Tuesday that it's halting enforcement action on a Biden administration vaccine mandate after a federal court issued a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking it. Other Arizona colleges are still unsure about what this means for their vaccine policies. 

The district told employees in a Tuesday statement that the injunction means its Jan. 7 deadline for employees to be fully vaccinated or request an exemption is no longer in effect. Prior to this, almost 60% of the district's more than 12,000 employees had submitted proof of vaccination, and roughly 600 had requested exemptions, said an MCCCD spokesman. 

The district is strongly encouraging employees to get vaccinated and voluntarily upload their status. 

Meanwhile at Pima Community College, a spokeswoman said its governing board, which voted to implement the mandate, will need to hold a new vote if it wants to suspend it. About 72% of PCC’s 2,500 employees submitted documents shows they are fully vaccinated so far, and another 58 individuals had applied for a religious or medical exemption so far. PCC employees have until Jan. 4 to get into full compliance. 

Arizona’s three public universities also have vaccine policies. The universities and the Arizona Board of Regents are reviewing the court decision and its potential impact, said a Northern Arizona University spokesperson. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to the Maricopa County Community College District.

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