Universities hiring additional staff to manage COVID-19 vaccination records

Colleges and universities in Maryland are adjusting computer software and hiring additional staff in an effort to manage vaccination records for COVID-19 ahead of the fall semester.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that administrators are devising plans to verify compliance with vaccine mandates and to process applications for an exemption.

Earlier this year,14 schools across the state said they would require students and employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the fall.

Some schools have collected immunization records for years. But they’re now doing so on a larger scale and will include employees.

RELATED: VA mandates COVID-19 vaccine for medical employees, staff

Unvaccinated students who lack an exemption may not be allowed to live on campus or access campus facilities. Some could also see their registration for courses cancelled.

The CDC and White House have stressed multiple times that more than 99% of recent deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 have occurred among the unvaccinated.

"This is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated," said Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.

More than 163 million people, or 49.1% of the total U.S. population, are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those eligible for the vaccine, aged 12 and over, the figure rises to 57.4%.

Across the country, health care workers and some state and city employees are being mandated to get COVID-19 vaccines as medical experts fear the current low rates in vaccination could overwhelm the nation’s health care system. 

he U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Monday that VA health care personnel will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The agency said VA employees will have eight weeks to be fully vaccinated from the virus amid concern over a rise in novel coronavirus cases and the highly transmissible delta variant.

RELATED: Over 50 US medical groups call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of health care workers

New York City will require all of its municipal workers — including teachers and police officers — to get coronavirus vaccines by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action. While it isn't a vaccine mandate — no workers will be forced to take a shot — officials hope the inconvenience and discomfort of weekly tests will persuade many to overcome a reluctance to get inoculated.

"This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City," de Blasio said. "This is about keeping people safe."

On Monday, dozens of major medical groups called on health care and long-term care employers to require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

A joint statement issued Monday was signed by 56 groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Nursing, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Pharmacists Association. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.