Vaccinations Required for Students in Residence
St. Jerome’s University (SJU) is requiring students living in residence to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as part of their commitment to a safe return to campus this fall. The decision came following the most recent communication to the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) from the Region’s Medical Officer of Health, and as part of SJU’s ongoing support and alignment with these partners throughout the pandemic.
“The Medical Officer strongly recommended that students living in residences be vaccinated against COVID-19, and that we implement a mandatory reporting of immunization policy for students who choose to live on campus in residence,” stated SJU’s President and Vice Chancellor, Peter Meehan. “Congregate living spaces face unique risks for transmission. By asking students to get their vaccinations we are trying to mitigate the risk to everyone on campus.”
The Region of Waterloo’s Medical Officer of Health, Hsiu-Li Wang, noted that high rates of vaccinations among the student population are considered critical to Ontario’s pandemic control. In her recent message to local universities, Wang reinforced the risks of transmission for those in congregate living spaces. In a region where the Delta variant has had a significant impact, SJU students in residence are being asked to do their part to help control outbreaks.
Students registered to live in residence at SJU will have a minimum requirement of receiving one first dose of a Health Canada or World Health Organization vaccine and providing proof of vaccination, before they move into residence. A second dose of an approved vaccine must be obtained within the recommended time period and proof that they have done so provided on or before November 1, 2021. UWaterloo’s vaccination centre on campus offers a convenient location for vaccine doses.
Residents who cannot get a vaccine due to medical reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code, will be able to submit a request for accommodation to the university. International students are encouraged to review UWaterloo’s COVID-19 resources for vaccine and quarantine requirements.
“We recognize that this new expectation for students living in residence may impact their decision to live on campus,” added Meehan. “We hope that they will understand this step is being taken to safeguard all residents, but if a student registered for residence chooses to withdraw by July 31st, we will refund any paid fees and their deposit.”
The University’s Residence Team will be reaching out directly to students registered to live in residence with additional information next week. As the University continues to plan for the ever-changing pandemic environment, Meehan remains optimistic about the return to campus.
“We want to ensure that we offer nothing less than an excellent residence experience for all of our students and look forward to welcoming them here this fall.”