McMaster’s vaccination mandate takes effect Sept. 7. Here’s what you need to know

As McMaster gets ready for the first week of classes, we want to make sure you have the essential information you need to get Back to Mac—how to fulfill the vaccination mandate, how to access and use the MacCheck digital tool where you’ll upload your proof of vaccination and complete daily COVID-19 screening, and where to request an exemption or get tested on campus if needed. 

McMaster’s vaccination mandate and other health and safety measures are critical for our community working together to keep our campus, and the broader Hamilton community, healthy and safe. The mandate was developed under the strong recommendation of our McMaster experts and in close collaboration with Hamilton Public Health and has been approved by the President and Vice-Presidents. 

“We’re fortunate at McMaster to have so many experts in infectious disease and public health. We have consistently relied on their advice and their most up-to-date research to shape our plans for on-campus activities,” says David Farrar, McMaster’s president. “Our best strategy for ensuring that people can be on campus safely is for everyone to be fully vaccinated.” 

Since McMaster announced that vaccinations would be mandatory for our community, the Ontario Government has mandated that all post-secondary institutions implement a vaccination policy by September 7th. 

“We need to support and be patient with each other through this transition over the fall” says Farrar. “There will be situations we can’t predict and adaptations we’ll need to make. But there will also be joyful reunions, new friends, and a return to the vibrant buzz of campus life.” 

Below are highlights on what you need to know. We encourage everyone in the community to visit the new vaccination page on the Back to Mac website, which will guide you step-by-step through what you need to do and will answer frequently asked questions.  


Vaccination Mandate for all community members 

Starting September 7th, all McMaster faculty, students and staff will be required to upload proof of vaccination to the MacCheck digital tool. This applies even if you won’t be on campus in the fall term. All community members must upload their proof by October 17th at 11:59pm ET. 

The digital tool is in its final testing stages and the community will be notified as soon as it is available.  

more about the mandate & why it was implemented 

Introducing MacCheck: Your one-stop digital COVID personal safety tool to upload your proof of vaccination, provide self-screening information  

Similar to the provincial self-assessment tool, McMaster will be introducing its own COVID-19 screening tool called MacCheck by September 7th. In this tool, you’ll be able to complete the two required tasks to access McMaster University campus or facility locations (including hospital settings): upload your vaccination record and complete daily COVID-19 health screening. MacCheck will be available via website URL and can be accessed on any device (smartphone, computer or tablet).  A hard copy option will be available for those who do not have a smart phone. 

Info on access & FAQs is available here.  

What if I’m fully vaccinated? 

Upload your proof of vaccination to the MacCheck digital tool and complete your daily COVID-19 health screening. MacCheck will let you know once you’re cleared to come to campus. 


What if I’m not fully vaccinated? 

If you are currently not fully vaccinated with a Health Canada or WHO approved vaccine, up until October 18th you will need to undergo rapid COVID-19 testing twice a week in order to access campus. You should  make arrangements to receive your vaccine(s) as soon as possible. 

If you are applying for an exemption to the vaccination policy under the Ontario Human Rights Code which includes confirmed medical reasons, you must do so by September 19th at 11:59pm ET. Find the process for applying for an exemption in the guide below, and take a look at this article which explains what may be considered a medical exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine. 


Accessing campus 

Once you’ve uploaded your proof of vaccination or received your rapid test results and completed your daily check-in, the MacCheck digital tool will let you know if you’re cleared to come to campus with a green checkmark. 

Supervisors will be able to access a dashboard that provides a list of those employees who completed their daily COVID-19 check-in and whether they are cleared to come to campus. Supervisors will not be able to see your individual vaccination status, whether you’ve received an exemption, or whether in the interim period you are undergoing testing. 

Students accessing an appointment or service on campus (e.g., academic advising, Student Wellness Centre, athletics & recreation) may be asked by a staff member providing the service to show their green check mark on the MacCheck digital tool. 

McMaster is developing a process for visitors and contractors with more information coming soon.  

Stay tuned for more information on the launch of the MacCheck digital tool and other important back to term information.