Dalhousie University mandating COVID-19 vaccines for students, staff

Dalhousie University has now implemented a vaccine policy. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Dalhousie University now says it will require all students and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall.

For those students who are not vaccinated, or have just one dose, they will be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

The school had previously said it was still examining its options, after it says Public Health officials and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education announced they would let universities and colleges to make their own decisions when it comes to vaccine requirements.

Read more: NSCC announces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for students, staff

As a result, Dalhouse says they launched a vaccine survey, where more than 10,000 students, faculty and staff participated.

“Preliminary results of our vaccine survey show that more than 95 per cent of respondents are or plan to be fully vaccinated this fall,” the university said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Dalhousie also called this a “complex issue” as it continues finalize the details of how the new requirements will be implemented.

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Here is the list of the new requirements as released by Dalhousie.

  • Students, faculty, and staff will be asked to provide proof of their vaccination status prior to accessing university campuses.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated, or choose not to provide proof of vaccination, will have to undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week and will be required to provide proof that the testing has taken place. (Testing will also continue to be encouraged for fully vaccinated individuals.)
  • All personal information provided, including information regarding vaccination status, will be handled in compliance with appropriate privacy legislation. We will also work to ensure EDIA (equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility) concerns related to both vaccination and testing are addressed in our planning.
  • As this requirement will also apply to King’s students and other members of the King’s community on Dalhousie’s campuses, we will be working closely with King’s on the operational details

The Halifax university joins a growing number of schools in mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.

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The school has faced mounting pressure over the summer to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory. The Dalhousie Faculty Association has been pushing for a vaccine policy for some time and the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie recently wrote an open letter undersigned by dozens of Dalhousie community members calling for a better COVID-19 protection plan.

Other schools

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

In Halifax, Saint Mary’s University has said there will be a voluntary self-disclosure of people’s vaccination status for campus check-in.

Mount Saint Vincent University, meanwhile, is requiring all students and staff to be vaccinated, and those who are not vaccinated will have to be tested twice a week.

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

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.


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