Less than one percent of U of T students asked for waiver from vax

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Less than one percent of the 8,400 University of Toronto students living on campus have applied for exemption from the mandate for triple COVID-19 shots, the school said Wednesday.

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The university didn’t say how many waiver requests were granted, or how many students didn’t have a booster dose, but said the “vast majority” of those living on campus received three injections before arriving.

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“The decision to require a booster dose — which is in line with the county’s booster recommendation — was made to support the health and well-being of students in residence and enable them to get the most out of their on-campus experience. to achieve,” says the university. wrote in a statement.

“The vast majority of students in residence were able to be vaccinated with a booster before moving into residence.”

U of T announced this summer that all students living in a residency must have three injections of a COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival.

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The school said it will continue to support students in the process of getting a third shot, including by running vaccination clinics on campus.

“There are many reasons why students can’t get their booster shot yet — they’re not ready for the booster yet based on the Canadian vaccination schedule, the availability of the bivalent booster, or because they’ve recently had COVID-19,” it said. said.

“Numbers continue to change as we work with students in our residencies to obtain their required vaccines.”

Western University has also mandated three doses, but for all students and staff, not just those living on campus — the only university in Canada to do so.

The school in London, Ontario, did not provide figures on Wednesday about how many students have already submitted proof of their booster shots before the January deadline, or how many students have applied for an exemption from the policy.

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Earlier this month, Western extended the deadline for submitting a vaccination certificate from October 1 to January 9, 2023, after Health Canada approved the Omicron-targeted vaccine, which became available this week to all adults in Ontario.

“This provided an opportunity for members of the campus community to receive a booster in early September or one of the new bivalent vaccines if available, or to be boosted with the current vaccine in early September to regain eligibility within 90 days.” a bivalent vaccine,” the university said in a statement on Wednesday.

Western did not say whether students who refused to abide by the mandate suffered consequences, but said students can withdraw and get their money back for no reason.

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In August, a protest against Western’s mandate drew hundreds of people to campus, including students who criticized the university’s decision to announce the policy, days before the start of the school year and at a time when mandates were nearly over. all other environments have been canceled. Several in attendance promised to push for it to be overthrown.

In their statement on Wednesday, Western noted that a recent Ontario Supreme Court ruling over a challenge by five students supported the university’s vaccine mandate.

“The court’s finding supports Western’s view that the collection of vaccination evidence is necessary for the effective implementation of our vaccination policy. Vaccination is an important measure to protect our community members and preserve our personal learning experience,” the school said.

Trent University also requires those living in residence to have two doses. The three schools are virtually the only places in Canada to remain subject to a vaccine mandate.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced that proof of mandatory vaccination will be lifted at Canada’s borders from Saturday.

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