COVID-19 vaccines not be mandatory for post-secondary classes in Ottawa, but required for uOttawa residence
OTTAWA -- If you’re heading to a Seneca College campus this fall, you will need to be vaccinated.
The college, with campuses spread across Toronto, York Region and Peterborough, announced that it will make vaccination mandatory for anyone coming on campus as of Sept. 7.
It is Ontario's first post-secondary institution to make vaccination a condition of participating in in-person learning.
“It makes sense for vaccines to be mandatory,” says Sarah LePage, a student at Algonquin College. “I’m fully vaccinated, so I’m not as worried, but because of the course that I’m in, I feel like it should be mandatory because a lot of the guys in the course are out of town.”
As of Tuesday, Ottawa's post secondary schools say they will not be requiring vaccination to attend in-person classes, but at least one school will require them for living in residence.
In an e-mail statement to CTV News Ottawa, Algonquin College writes in part, “At present, there is no mandatory vaccination required for students or employees who need to be on Algonquin College’s campuses for academic activities, though it is strongly encouraged.”
The statement continues, “However, Algonquin College remains flexible and is continuing to monitor evolving COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and recommendations related to vaccinations.”
Student Jesse McNeely says the college has been handling COVID-19 well so far.
“They’ve had everyone spaced out, everyone wearing masks, you do the sign-in when you come in,” says McNeely, who is attending an intermediate plumbing program with 10 students. “As long as they’re continuing their steps, then I feel pretty safe either way, because we started this program and not everyone was fully vaccinated and I don’t think anyone through the levels has caught COVID, and the numbers are going down.”
When Carleton University welcomes students to a mix of in-person and online learning this fall, vaccination will not be mandatory either, according to an e-mailed statement to CTV News Ottawa.
“Any decision on mandatory vaccination will be made in compliance with recommendations and guidelines from the province and Ottawa Public Health,” the statement said.
The university says they are providing vaccination clinics to faculty, staff and students.
“Health and safety continues to be our top priority and we strongly recommend that all members of the Carleton community get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Carleton student Robertson Egalité spoke with CTV News Ottawa while on his way to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine.
“Personally, I think it should be optional, because everyone should have the option to take it or not.”
University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa did not respond to CTV News Ottawa’s request for comment, but their website indicates that students will not be required to be vaccinated before setting foot on campus.
The university does say, however, that COVID-19 vaccines are mandatory for living in residence.
"You must therefore have received your first dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine before your move-in date and provide proof of vaccination before moving in," uOttawa's website says.
--With files from CP24’s Web Content Writer, Chris Fox.