Duke University to Employees: Get Shot, or Get Terminated, Clock’s Ticking

DURHAM – In a continued surge of vaccine mandates from the private sector, Duke University has issued all of its employees an ultimatum that comes with a timetable. If employees do not submit for the jab by a certain near-future date; they’re fired.

From WRAL:

Duke University employees will have until Oct. 1 to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine, or be terminated and ineligible to be rehired at Duke in the future.

In a message sent to employees, Duke leaders said faculty and staff can apply for a medical or religious exemption, but anyone approved will still have to do daily symptom monitoring, weekly surveillance testing, wear a mask and other COVID-19 safety protocols.

Employees have until 10 a.m. to receive and show documentation of vaccination. Duke officials said so far, 91 percent of employees have already completed the requirement.

Those who have not shown they are fully vaccinated by the deadline will be placed on administrative leave. Employees will then have seven days to either receive the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

If an employee does not receive a vaccine in those seven days, they will be terminated. Those who do receive a Moderna or Prizer vaccine dose in those seven days will have six weeks to provide documentation that they received the required second dose. If the second dose is not administered in the six weeks, the employee will be fired. […]”

Duke University has been a first mover on many episodes of Pandemic Panic. In spring 2020, their men’s basketball team was the first to forfeit participation in the ACC Tournament, precipitating further withdrawals, and ultimate cancellation; Duke was one of the first to modify campus life, mandate masks, and require students to document vaccination status. If this latest move, an aggressive push to vaccinate those employees that have thus far been non-compliant, follows a similar pattern, it may portend pressure on public universities and colleges to do that same.

The leap between private and public administration is a large one. However, we’ve seen time and again over the last two years that Pandemic Panic creates a race to the bottom in which companies, communities, and governments cut through heretofore solid foundations with haste and a sense of moral superiority.

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