The Standard (St. Catharines)

Some universiti­es say no to proof of vaccinatio­n

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A COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t be a requiremen­t to return to the physical classroom at some universiti­es in September, with several large schools saying they have no intention of mandating proof of immunizati­on for students.

Though some schools remain undecided, the decisions from the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and Mcgill University come as government­s around the world work out how to handle socalled vaccine passports.

“There’s quite a range of opinions,” said Andrew Kirk, an engineerin­g professor and head of the Mcgill Associatio­n of University Teachers. “We haven’t taken a formal position.”

Some professors, he said, believe Mcgill should require that students be fully vaccinated before returning to laboratori­es and lecture halls.

“Others feel that as long as they themselves are vaccinated, and there are reasonable precaution­s, then it shouldn’t be a requiremen­t,” Kirk said.

Though the faculty associatio­n doesn’t have a concrete take on the issue, a spokespers­on for Mcgill said the school is planning for several scenarios, but anticipate­s that everyone at high-risk for COVID-19 will be vaccinated before fall.

“We do not currently anticipate a requiremen­t to show proof of vaccinatio­n before coming to campus in the fall,” Cynthia Lee said in an email.

“The university is using an approach to planning that will create flexibilit­y so that we will be able to adapt if we need to.”

Some schools are still mulling whether to require proof of vaccinatio­n, such as the University of Toronto.

“The approach to vaccinatio­n is a matter all post-secondary institutio­ns in Ontario are considerin­g at this time,” a spokespers­on said. “We are working closely with the guidance of the province when it comes to health and safety requiremen­ts in coming to any decisions.”

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