The University of Alabama System announced Friday that all employees will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under orders from federal government.

This comes as a result of President Joe Biden's signing of Executive Order 14042 on September 9, which requires all federal contractors and subcontractors to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for employees. This includes those who work at universities with federal contracts.

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This order applies to all University of Alabama System campuses including The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Alabama in Hunstville as well as Auburn University.

These universities must all comply with the Executive Order unless it is withdrawn or modified.

"As federal contractors, and like most higher education institutions, the University of Alabama System campuses... must comply with the Executive Order and accompanying guidance," said Lynn Cole, Director of Communications for the University of Alabama System.

Cole went on to emphasize that the UA system does not have flexibility in the order's enforcement, as it was mandated by the federal government. Should any university in the system fail to comply with the order, it would risk the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars received through federal contracts and awards, not to mention the thousands of jobs funded through those dollars.

The UA System campuses and Auburn University notified employees Friday of the mandate.

"In continued collaboration with educational enterprises across the State, both institutions will closely monitor the Executive Order and guidance," Cole said

All University of Alabama employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, 2021, unless the have an approved medical, disability or religious exemption.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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