McMaster student residences will require COVID vaccinations

Ontario’s new, updated guidance for university planning for fall 2021 is encouraging universities to expand their planning to include more student activities on campuses, no physical distancing, and to maintain the use of masks indoors. As activities levels are expected to increase, McMaster has decided that students who’ve chosen to live in residences will require vaccinations this fall.

“We are working to make sure that students have as much opportunity as possible to enjoy a full residence experience,” said Sean Van Koughnett, AVP Students and Learning and dean of Students. “A survey of incoming residence students found that 97% said they planned to be vaccinated before the beginning of term. This is an outstanding response and requiring vaccinations aligns well with what our students are telling us.”

Information with details about vaccination requirements and exceptions for religious or health reasons will be sent directly to residence students over the next few days. Students can also check the McMaster housing website.

There was significant demand for residence spaces at McMaster this year with more than 3,400 residence spaces fully taken and many students on a waiting list.

“Requiring vaccinations will allow us to create a more normal residence experience which is so important to students,” said Kevin Beatty, director Housing. “Our planning in partnership with public health officials has been focussed on the health and safety of students living in residences and we expect that mandatory vaccinations will create even more confidence that residences will be a safe and stable environment for students throughout the academic year.”

Residence students will be required to have two doses of vaccine and be fully vaccinated with a Health Canada recognized COVID-19 vaccines within 14 days of moving into residence, with at least one shot before their move-in date. While most students will be expected to have both vaccinations before moving in, McMaster is finalizing discussions with Public Health to be able to offer student vaccines through the Student Wellness Centre.

Provision for international students will be in place to assist them in obtaining a recognized vaccine.

Hamilton and other public health departments in the province are now allowing walk ins at most major vaccination sites which will make it easier for students to receive their vaccines. To find out more about McMaster’s planning for Fall 2021 please visit Back to Mac for the latest updates.

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