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Mount Saint Vincent University requiring students, staff to be fully vaccinated

File/ Global News

Mount Saint Vincent University will be requiring all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a letter, interim president and vice-chancellor Ramona Lumpkin said people should be vaccinated as soon as possible and by Oct. 13 at the latest.

Those who choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

“With a pandemic fourth wave gaining traction across the country at the same time as we seek to safely return to on-campus learning, working, and student life opportunities, a vaccine mandate is an important step,” she wrote.

“The evidence is clear: getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect yourself and others, and is our surest way out of this pandemic.”

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The university, located outside Halifax, says the protocol planning is still underway. That includes looking at whether those who were vaccinated abroad with a vaccine not currently approved by Health Canada will need to be vaccinated with a Health Canada-approved vaccine when they arrive.

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The university will also continue to implement other safety measures, including reduced classroom sizes, improved ventilation and mask use in common areas.

Rapid testing will also be offered on campus.

“While aspects of this semester will look unlike anything we’ve experienced before, I have no doubt it will still be a rewarding time,” Lumpkin wrote.

“Thank you to all members of our community who continue to work to keep one another safe, both by following Public Health advice and adhering to university protocols.”

Universities in Atlantic Canada have taken an uneven approach to vaccine mandates.

Click to play video: 'N.B. students react to campus vaccination policies'
N.B. students react to campus vaccination policies

In Halifax, Dalhousie University is strongly encouraging vaccines but not requiring them, while Saint Mary’s University has said there will be a voluntary self-disclosure of people’s vaccination status for campus check-in.

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Cape Breton University is requiring students living in residence to be immunized.

The University of New Brunswick is implementing a mandatory vaccine and testing policy, and vaccines are required at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., and St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador has also announced it will require vaccines for staff, faculty and students.

— with a file from The Canadian Press 

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