We have suspended our proof of vaccination requirements for entry to campus, effective May 1, 2022.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the evolution of the virus and the course of disease activity are difficult to predict.
If the situation changes, it may become necessary to bring back requirements for proof of vaccination on short notice. To ensure we can minimize disruption to work and learning if this happens, we will ask employees and current students to continue to provide information on their up-to-date vaccination status.
Employees and students should provide their up-to-date vaccination status and update their record if their status changes, for example if an individual receives a booster dose.
We strongly prefer that individuals supply a valid Ontario vaccination certificate with QR code. You can obtain an Ontario vaccine certificate even if you did not receive immunizations in Canada by registering with Region of Waterloo Public Health. We will accept any immunization receipt that clearly shows:
- The dates your vaccine doses were administered
- The total number of vaccinations administered
- The vaccine product that was administered
In the event that we need to reinstate proof of vaccination requirements at a future date, all employees and students, must have a valid proof of vaccination on file by the time the mandate comes back into effect. Individuals who have not uploaded their proof will not be permitted to come to campus, as of the date a mandate requirement is implemented.
In Ontario, an individual is presently considered fully vaccinated if they have received:
- The full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines, or
- Individuals who have proof of immunization and have received a complete one or two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use by Health Canada will be offered one additional dose of an mRNA vaccine.
- Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada; and
- They received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago.
International students should reach out to the International Student Experience team email@example.com to ensure their vaccine and/or quarantine requirements are met.
COVID-19 testing, rapid screening and vaccination is available through Campus Wellness for all University of Waterloo students, employees, and postdocs.
Messaging to the public from health authorities throughout the pandemic has been consistent: vaccination offers the best protection against the worst effects of COVID-19 and its variants and is the most important way to protect public health.
Collecting up to date proof of vaccination requirement remains a part of the overall health and safety requirements of the University and in recognition of the continuing role of vaccination as a key defence in the ongoing management of COVID-19. The University has obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Policy 34 – Health, Safety, and Environment, which include taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of employees. Additionally, the President’s responsibilities under the University of Waterloo Act, will inform the University’s position if we deem it necessary to return to a requirement to submit proof of vaccination to work and/or study the University of Waterloo. The aggregate data on levels of vaccination in our community will help inform our future decision-making with respect to whether or not mandates have to be reinstated.
The University is committed to the prevention of illness and injury and strives to provide a safe work and study environment for its employees, students, and visitors.
Waterloo will continue to monitor and respond to new information, including government and public health directives, advice, and guidance, and information received from public health experts. Waterloo will also continue to consult with other universities and stakeholders in the University of Waterloo community. Any decision to reinstate the proof of vaccination requirement will be guided by relevant information, consultation, and Waterloo’s obligations noted above. In order to minimize operational disruptions, decisions will generally be made on a term-by-term basis, and the University will endeavour to make decisions as far in advance of the start of term as is reasonably possible.
September 7, 2021 to February 28, 2022
The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario (OCMOH) forecast on August 17, 2021, that mandatory vaccination policies would be required for post-secondary institutions. Subsequently, on August 24, 2021, the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH) issued a letter to all college and university presidents recommending that they require full COVID-19 vaccination for all individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus.
On August 30, 2021, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario issued instructions to post-secondary institutions requiring them to establish mandatory COVID-19 policies. The requirements were enforceable under subsection 2(2.1) of Schedule 1 and Schedule 4 of O. Reg. 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
Acting on the advice from OCMOH, COMOH and in anticipation of the requirements and its obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the University informed Waterloo’s students and employees on August 24, 2021, and reiterated in a second memo on August 27, 2021, that it would require individuals to submit proof of vaccination to return to campus in the Fall 2021 term.
March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022
On March 1, 2022, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario (OCMOH) revoked instructions to universities that required the development of vaccination policies. In a letter to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, OCMOH recognized and expressed wholehearted support for institutions that wish to retain existing proof of vaccination policies for “the remainder of the academic term and ongoing as part of overall health and safety requirements.”
In accordance with our policies set out above, Waterloo’s proof of vaccination requirement will remain in effect until at least the end of the Winter term, as indicated in the communication from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and James W. E. Rush, Vice-President Academic and Provost, on February 14, 2022. This approach is consistent with the approach at all other Ontario universities and will serve to minimize uncertainty and disruption to students, staff, faculty and the broader University community.
May 1, 2022 to present day
We suspended our proof of vaccination requirements for entry to campus, effective May 1. To ensure we can minimize disruption to work and learning if we need to reinstate a proof of vaccination requirement to come to campus, we have maintained a requirement for employees and students to provide information on their up-to-date vaccination status.
The University will provide accommodations for cases where students or employees cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or other grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code.
We will provide information on how to apply for an accommodation if we need to reinstate a proof of vaccination requirement. You will be permitted to apply for an accommodation from the date that we announce the requirement will return. We may require you to undertake additional public health measures, such as to complete rapid antigen testing, in order to continue coming to campus as an interim accommodation.
If we reinstate our requirement to be fully vaccinated in order to come to the University of Waterloo, individuals will be considered to have failed to comply with the proof of vaccination requirement if they:
- arrive on campus without having submitted acceptable proof of vaccination documentation through the Campus Check-In Proof of Vaccination form;
- arrive on campus and do not have a University-approved accommodation; or,
- have an approved or interim accommodation and are found in non-compliance with the rapid testing requirement.
Individuals are required to comply with all health and safety policies implemented by the University, including policies related to mandatory proof of vaccination. Individuals deemed or found to be non-compliant if we reinstate our requirement to be fully vaccinated in order to come to the University of Waterloo will face progressive remedial action consistent with appropriate University of Waterloo policies. In all cases of non-compliance, access to campus will be denied.
Employees will be subject to progressive remedial action from the date that we reinstate the requirement, ranging from actions such as placement on leave and/or other discipline up to and including termination of employment.
Undergraduate students will not be permitted to attend any in-person academic activities, including on-campus and blended courses if the proof of vaccination requirement is reinstated.
- If the proof of vaccination requirement is reinstated prior to course selection and/or course enrolment, students will receive a Vaccine Status-Restricted Enrolment hold on their Quest record and may be prevented from enrolling in on-campus and blended courses.
- If the proof of vaccination requirement be reinstated after course enrolment and/or during the term, students will receive a Vaccine Status-Restricted Enrolment hold on their Quest record and may be unenrolled from any course that include in-person activities.
Students should select courses with these possible consequences in mind.
Graduate student non-compliance
Graduate students in a master’s or doctoral program will be subject to progressive remedial action ranging from removal of course enrolment to withdrawal from the program in current and future terms from the date that we reinstate the requirement.
Protect yourself and protect our community
- Health Services is offering COVID-19 vaccines to everyone on campus
- Book an appointment by phone: 519-888-4096
- The Region of Waterloo also offers a number of COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
If you were partially or fully vaccinated outside of Ontario, you are required to submit your vaccination record/receipt of immunization to the Region of Waterloo’s Out of Province COVID Immunization form. Once you have completed this step, you will receive direction from Public Health about any additional vaccine doses you will be required to take.