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Federal Vaccine Mandate Means SD College Employees Better Get Shots

In 2007, Governor Marion Michael Rounds signed a law (SDCL 13-53-47) requiring all public and private post-secondary students to demonstrate immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. Now our college campi will likely need to require their employees to get covid shots by December 8… assuming they want to keep receiving federal funds:

More than a month after the Biden administration announced it would require federal contractors to be vaccinated against Covid-19, universities across the country are beginning to impose campuswide employee vaccine mandates in response.

Arizona’s three public universities announced on Friday that employees would have to be fully vaccinated by December 8, when the White House order goes into effect. Pennsylvania State University said the same on Tuesday, and the University of Delaware, last week.

“It was pretty clear to us, knowing our university, that we would qualify as a federal contractor,” said Laure Bachich Ergin, general counsel for the University of Delaware.

Between research contracts and cooperative agreements — like a public-private partnership to improve pharmaceutical manufacturing — University of Delaware leaders estimate about $390 million in federal funding is at stake with the new emergency rule. Penn State has estimated it has more than $500 million in qualified funding. The University of Arizona has “hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts,” Robert C. Robbins, the president, wrote in a letter shared with The Chronicle, and “already has received amended federal contracts that include this requirement” [Francie Diep and Kate Hidalgo Bellows, “Biden Ordered Federal Contractors to Get Employees Vaccinated. Universities Have Begun to Comply,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 2021.10.15].

South Dakota’s MMR immunity requirement allows students to get out of the shots by demonstrating they’ve already had the diseases. The federal covid vaccine requirement does not give employees that alternative.

In Fiscal Year 2020, South Dakota’s Regental System spent over $67 million [SDBOR 2021 Fact Book, p. 33] in federal contract and grant funding for research and education enhancement.


  1. Jake 2021-10-18

    Glad to hear! get those damn shots-the more the merrier!

  2. grudznick 2021-10-18

    That’s why they call it the M. Michael Rounds shot, or MMR for short. No pun on the senator’s height intended.

  3. mike from iowa 2021-10-18

    This is interesting….. The COVID States Project reports that 52% of Americans approve of their governors’ handling of the pandemic. But Kashinsky reports, “That coronavirus approval rating drops to 42% for governors in states with no vaccine requirements. And it takes yet another hit — dropping to just 36% — in states where governors have barred vaccine mandates.”

    from RawStory

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-10-18

    You know with all those pub anti-vaxers, you’d better get your iron lungs out of storage South Dakota.

  5. mike from iowa 2021-10-19

    General Colin Powell, fully vaccinated, one time American hero died of covid complications while battling blood cancer which compromised his immune system. He was 84.

  6. Mark Anderson 2021-10-19

    Well Joe, you have to wonder about the intelligence of the highest paid person in the state. I mean that team’s never going anywhere. Its sorta like the LSU coach who’s a trumpie, that will win over your black players right away won’t it?

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