99% of faculty, 96% of students on McMaster campus in Hamilton fully vaxxed against COVID-19

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Published October 18, 2021 at 8:32 pm

McMaster University says it has nearly universal uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines among the students, staff and faculty.

Monday, the Hamilton university released a statement stating that 99 per cent of the faculty, 96 per cent of students who are studying on campus and 96 pef cent of staff are fully vaccinated against the respiratory virus. The announcement comes exactly nine weeks after Mac said it would “require that anyone accessing campus or a university facility in person upload proof that they are fully vaccinated, or that they have received an exemption from the university for a validated human rights ground.”

The 96 per cent estimate of student uptake does not include those who are studying fully remotely this fall and are unlikely to come to campus. It also omits international students who have not yet arrived in Canada and are studying remotely.

McMaster’s longer-range goal, as stated in the summer, was to have more in-person learning by January. The university provost said that is in feasible.

“The health and safety of campus has been our top priority since the pandemic began and the incredibly high vaccine take up not only helps to protect our students, faculty and staff, it also helps pave the way to a winter 2022 term that will be mostly in person,” McMaster provost Susan Tighe stated.

Universities are one realm of public life in Ontario where there has been general acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

The Ontario government does not require vaccination for health-care workers. Two of the largest states in the United States, California and New York, made it a requirement for health-care workers in August and have seen a subsequent jump in vaccination rates.

Ontario education workers, including elementary school teachers who may be teaching vaccine-ineligible children, are also only required to disclose their vaccination status, rather than prove it. Ontario teacher unions asked the province for a requirement on Aug. 17, which coincidentally was the day after McMaster announced its policy.

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