Wilfrid Laurier University to require COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone on campus

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Wilfrid Laurier University says it will require all students, staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester.

In a statement on Friday, the school said the decision reflects Laurier’s continued efforts to focus on the health safety of the university community amid the risks of COVID-19, the Delta variant and other variants of concern.

“As the pandemic has progressed, the university has been urging members of the Laurier community to take part in our shared responsibility by getting vaccinated,” said Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor.

“This requirement will help us protect the health of each other and allows us to play an essential role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.”

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As of Sept. 7, everyone will be required to confirm their vaccination status ahead of attending the Waterloo or Brantford campuses or other locations including Kitchener, Toronto and Milton.

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Those who have not been fully vaccinated will be required to commit to regular COVID-19 testing and receive a negative test result before going on campus.

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Vaccine policy in place for U of T students returning to campus

The decision to require vaccines was made by university leadership with endorsement from the Brant County Health Unit and Region of Waterloo Public Health.

“I strongly support Wilfrid Laurier University enacting vaccination policies that will facilitate the highest vaccination coverage possible,” said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Region of Waterloo’s medical officer of health.

“High vaccination coverage will be our strongest tool to prevent local outbreaks in the upcoming academic year. Full immunization offers the best protection against COVID-19 and reduces the risk for severe outcomes.”

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Anyone who is unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be able to submit a request for accommodation and will be required to follow testing requirements and health and safety protocols outlined for them by the university.

The move comes after the University of Guelph and the Univerity of Waterloo enacted similar vaccine mandates, along with several other post-secondary institutions in Ontario.

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