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More than 75% of state college employees now vaccinated against COVID

More than 75 percent of Nevada System of Higher Education employees are now vaccinated against COVID-19, the system announced Wednesday.

The vaccination rate of 75.6 percent was a sharp increase from the previous week’s reported rate of 56.1 percent, according to a news release. In total, more than 18,000 of nearly 24,000 employees are vaccinated.

“I am extremely proud of everyone who has chosen to get vaccinated,” Chancellor Melody Rose said in the release. “This effort will go a long way in making our campuses safe for our students and colleagues.”

The higher education system cited multiple reasons for the growth in the vaccination rate, including the State Board of Health’s decision last month to require all college students to get vaccinated in order to register for spring semester classes.

Last week, the college system’s Board of Regents voted unanimously to authorize Rose’s office to draft and implement policies and procedures to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. The policy will come to the board Sept. 30 for final approval.

Employees must be fully vaccinated on or before Dec. 1. The system will consider medical and religious exemptions.

Of NSHE’s eight campuses, six have more than 70 percent of employees vaccinated. The other two, Great Basin College in Elko and Western Nevada College in Carson City, have rates above 65 percent.

The College of Southern Nevada, which has three Las Vegas Valley campus, has a 70 percent vaccination rate among employees. About 78.6 percent of employees at Nevada State College in Henderson are vaccinated, as are 74.6 percent at UNLV, according to the release.

NSHE plans to update employee vaccination rates weekly on its website, nshe.nevada.edu.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.