Wilfrid Laurier University is joining a growing list of schools making COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for students living in residence for the upcoming academic year.
In a release, the school said the rule is “strongly recommended by local public health authorities in Waterloo Region and endorsed by the Brant County Health Unit.”
It will apply to residences across all of its campus communities beginning this fall.
“Students will be encouraged to have their first dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine prior to their move-in date, with Laurier recommending they receive it at least 14 days before arriving on campus,” the school said.
“Those who are unable to get vaccinated before moving in will have one week following their move-in date to receive their first dose, with the university helping to facilitate access to vaccines, subject to supply.”
The school adds that students who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons or “other grounds” protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be able to submit a request for accommodation.
“We are listening to the science and following the recommendation of public health to move to mandatory vaccinations for students living in residence,” said Ivan Joseph, vice-president of student affairs. “This will allow us to get back to the thriving campus community we all want.”
The school is asking students to keep all records of their vaccinations.
Earlier this month, Seneca College announced it was making vaccinations mandatory for staff and students returning to campus in September.
In a letter sent to all students and employees in June, Seneca’s president said vaccinations will be a condition for on-campus activities, starting on Sept. 7.
Western University in London, Ont., became one of the first to require students living in residence to be vaccinated against COVID-19 come September, with the University of Toronto following suit shortly after.
However, the University of Toronto will not make it mandatory for students to be vaccinated when it comes to in-person learning this fall.
“We welcome the uptake of vaccinations and recent memos from the provincial government, which provide the opportunity to shape learning experiences to best fit our students and programs of study,” a U of T spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to receiving further details from the provincial government and will continue to follow public health guidelines as we safely open up our classrooms.”
Sheridan College says vaccines will not be mandatory for students attending in-person learning or living in residence “at this time” but it is encouraging everyone to refer to public health recommendations which suggest vaccination is “one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves and our communities against COVID-19.”
George Brown College says students living in residence and those participating in varsity sports must be fully vaccinated for the fall semester. The college says students will have to sign a form indicating they have received two doses of the four vaccines approved by Health Canada – AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. They add that international students vaccinated using Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, which have been approved by the World Health Organization, are also acceptable.