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UArizona president ‘strongly’ favors requiring vaccines for students, staff

(Twitter Photo/@AZRegents)

PHOENIX — University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said Monday he’s “strongly” in favor of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for students and staff.

“I still strongly, strongly encourage and really favor mandating it,” he said during his weekly livestreamed COVID-19 press conference.

Robbins said the presidents of the state’s three public universities have been discussing a unified approach toward the issue.

“I’m a big advocate for a vaccine passport, and my hope is we can continue to have these discussions, so I keep talking about this every week,” he said.

“We’re not ready to make a firm decision, but I think by fall term we clearly will have that decided about if we mandate it.”

Robbins said he also favors requiring flu shots and other established vaccines.

While Robbins was holding his briefing, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order banning state and local government from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter facilities or receive services.

A reporter broke the news to Robbins while he was talking about the subject.

“I’d like to see what the governor has said,” Robbins said. “My hope is that we could be able to do that here at the University of Arizona.”

Ducey’s ban, it turns out, applies only to government entities and businesses that contract with the state, so it doesn’t impact universities.

The order does not prevent other private businesses, health care facilities and child care centers from requiring proof of vaccination.

Schools are also exempt and can mandate vaccine documentation as previously permitted under state law.

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