Should post-secondary students be required to get their COVID-19 shot before heading back to campus? After Western University announced it will require students living in residence to have at least one dose of a vaccine come September, other universities and colleges in and around the GTA told CityNews they are still on the fence over whether to mandate vaccinations.
Here’s where post-secondary institutions stand (as of May 28):
Queen’s deferred to a later date. However, two students at the school told CityNews they’d welcome a mandate.
“All of the young people I know from Queen’s and other universities are eager to get vaccinated,” said Queen’s University student Carolyn Svonkin. “If it’s the only way to get there, then I think people would understand that.”
“The communication has largely been around the fact that they are committing to reopening and returning to normal life as much as is possible under the circumstances,” added fourth-year Queen’s student David Niddam-Dent. “I think the overwhelming majority of students it’s let’s get back to school, let’s get back to normal life and let’s do whatever we have to, to make that happen.”
An update on the fall semester is expected on June 9.
University of Toronto
The university would only say it’s working closely with the province and health officials, adding that it has plans to host on-campus vaccine clinics.
“I think it would be a good idea,” Raquel Staple, a student at the university, told CiyNews. “UofT is a huge campus and students come from all around the world.”
Student residents will be required to get their first dose before arriving on campus. If they are not able too, the school will allow 14 days from when they arrive to get a vaccine.
Students who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons, or for reasons protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code, can seek an exemption.
The university will also operate an on-campus vaccination clinic this summer to accommodate first and second doses for students, staff and faculty.
The university said it has not made any decisions for the fall semester yet.
The college said it’s looking to consult communities, adding, “Centennial College, like many postsecondary institutions, is grappling with the concept of mandatory vaccinations for students. This is the subject of considerable exploration and debate among college and university administrators,” spokesperson Mark Toljagic said in a statement.
The college said it won’t require proof of vaccination, “except potentially for programs with work-integrated learning experiences that already require students and/or staff to be fully vaccinated,” spokesperson Andrew Leopold said in a statement.
The college did not respond to our request for comment