uOttawa makes COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all on campus

OTTAWA — The University of Ottawa now says that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all students, staff, faculty and visitors to its campus.

Anyone who will be on campus in the fall must have had at least one dose of a vaccine by Sept. 7 and must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

The University of Ottawa is the first university in Canada to make vaccines mandatory on campus, following in the steps of Seneca College, which announced its mandatory vaccination policy last month. Other universities in Canada have policies that require students to be vaccinated to live in residence or to self-report their vaccine status before setting foot on campus, while still maintaining access for unvaccinated individuals.

Previously, the university said proof of vaccination would only be required to live in residence or participate in sports, but on Tuesday said it was expanding the requirement to anyone on its campus.

“The risks posed by the pandemic are clear, and the path to staying safe, ever clearer,” said uOttawa president and vice-chancellor Jacques Frémont in a press release. “This decision is based on both common sense and good science, and on the advice of public health authorities. We have full confidence that people in our university community will respect this decision as we work together to protect the health and safety of our community.”

Other public health measures, including physical distancing and mask use will continue to be enforced.

The university says it is able to grant accommodations to individuals who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or other grounds identified by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

“Those who remain unvaccinated and who must access the campus will be required to follow health protocols such as frequent testing, wearing masks and other PPE, if necessary,” the university said.

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is running at the Minto Sports Complex on campus daily until Sept. 6, aimed at post-secondary students, staff, and their families. No appointments are necessary to receive a vaccine.

Carleton University says vaccination is mandatory for students living in residence, student athletes, and for students taking part in activities on campus that carry a greater risk of transmission of COVID-19, such as music performance or instruction.

Algonquin College has no mandatory vaccine requirement for students or employees coming to campuses in Ottawa, Perth and Pembroke at this time.

Queen’s University strongly encourages vaccination but it has no mandatory policy. 

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