COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Information

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COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

The Vaccination and Testing Centre will begin providing the Bivalent vaccine for individuals 18+ and high risk groups starting September 26, 2022.

Location: Thames Hall, Room 3189. Visitor parking is available off Lambton Drive, near Weldon Library in lot D and near Alumni Hall and Thompson Recreation and Athletic Centre in lot M.

Eligibility: At this time, Moderna Spikevax Bivalent (“Bivalent”) vaccine is not authorized for use as a primary series. It is only authorized for use as a booster.  Anyone who has not completed the primary series, should receive the monovalent Moderna or Pfizer vaccine before being eligible to receive a bivalent booster dose.  As of September 12, 2022, the following high-risk groups will be recommended to receive their Bivalent vaccine booster dose, regardless of the number of booster doses previously received:

  • Residents of LTC/RH, Elder Care Lodges, and adults living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services
  • Individuals aged 70+
  • Individuals who are age 12+ with moderately to severely immunocompromising conditions
  • Adults 18+ who identify as First Nations, Inuit, or Metis and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18+
  • Pregnant individuals aged 18+
  • Healthcare workers aged 18+

As of September 26, individuals aged 18+ are eligible to receive a Bivalent vaccine regardless of the number of doses previously received.

  • Recommended spacing from a previous COVID-19 vaccine is 6 months (168 days), minimum spacing is 3 months (84 days).

As of October 17, individuals 12+ are eligible for the Bivalent vaccine if they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series.

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the exception of statutory holidays. Walk-ins are available, please be prepared to wait. You will need your Western ID to book an appointment online.

Book YOUR VACCINATION APPOINTMENT

Questions about COVID-19 vaccinations or testing? Please email vaxinfo@uwo.ca.

COVID-19 RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING

Location: Thames Hall, Room 3189. Visitor parking is available off Lambton Drive, near Weldon Library in lot D and near Alumni Hall and Thompson Recreation and Athletic Centre in lot M.

Eligibility: The Ministry of Health has provided updated guidance on testing, and case, contact and outbreak management. Testing is only available for Western students and employees who meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have been directed to receive a test by a physician (e.g. those undergoing cancer treatment or who require a test as part of pre-operative planning)
  • Are required to take a test after arriving from abroad and completing quarantine
  • Have been identified by Workplace Health or Health and Wellness to confirm continued self-isolation requirements
  • Are part of the provincially designated eligible groups

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the exception of statutory holidays. Walk-ins are available, please be prepared to wait.

PCR testing is no longer available at this location. The closest location is the Carling Assessment Centre at 656 Elizabeth Street.

For individuals granted an exemption: Western will no longer require rapid antigen testing for those with a COVID-19 medical or creed accommodation. However, each time you attend campus, you are required to wear a proper fitting Medical Grade ASTM Level 3 mask in all shared indoor space on campus.

Vaccination FAQs

Vaccine Policy

What is Western’s vaccination policy?

As of January 9, 2023, all members of our community (Western, Brescia, Huron and King’s) are required to provide proof of vaccination of the primary series plus a booster shot (generally, three doses total) of any combination of COVID-19 vaccines recognized by Health Canada.

Why is Western extending the date to submit proof of vaccinations until January 9, 2023?

On Sept 1, Health Canada formally approved Moderna’s updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccine which targets the Omicron variant. Western is giving members of our community the option to receive a booster shot of one of the new bivalent vaccines once it becomes available.

This deadline extension is supported by further consultation We ask that students living in residence submit proof of vaccination for their primary series as soon as possible.

Why is Western continuing with a vaccination policy?

Our approach is informed by consultation with our medical experts and the Western community to do everything possible to mitigate the effects of future waves of COVID-19 – and to offer a consistent, positive on-campus experience for the coming year.

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff and some visitors of the university and affiliated university colleges: Brescia, Huron, and King’s. Further information regarding visitors and how they can comply with the policy is included below.

How do I withdraw from Western?

Step 1: Log into Student Center (http://student.uwo.ca) to drop courses if you are an undergraduate student.

Step2: Submit a Virtual Helpline to have your tuition recalculated and let us know that you are withdrawing due to the vaccination policy and would like a refund.

Step 3: If you paid through a Canadian bank, ensure you have setup your direct deposit on your Student Center.

It takes 3 business days from when the refund is issued for the funds to be deposited into your bank account.

Full-time undergraduate students who withdraw on or before September 16, 2022 will be eligible for a full refund of tuition and may be charged for non-refundable fees (e.g., health and dental plans, bus pass).

What if I want to defer for the year?

Students not currently attending a different post-secondary institution, who were planning to attend Western for the first time in September, may request a deferral of their admission. Please complete the online form (you will need to sign in with your Western credentials to submit the form).

*Only incoming students admitted directly from high school are eligible to request a deferral.

What if I no longer want to live in residence?

If you no longer plan to live in residence due to the COVID-19 vaccination policy, please email housing@uwo.ca.

I recently received my second dose and am ineligible for a booster. Am I still compliant with the policy?

You are considered compliant with the policy if you are unable to receive a booster due to the timing of your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Once eligible for a booster, you must receive it and provide proof of vaccination by January 9, 2023.

If the new booster provides increased protection, why isn’t it mandatory?

Western encourages everyone in our community to stay up-to-date on vaccinations. Receiving at least one booster builds on our existing vaccination policy of two doses, and reduces the likelihood of community members developing severe illness from COVID-19. Ontario Health currently recommends all individuals over the age of 12 receive a booster dose.

I just received my booster dose, but I want the new one, what do I do now?

Individuals who have received a booster will not be required to take the bivalent vaccine booster however, you may decide to get it when you become eligible.

Do I still need a booster if I’ve had COVID-19?

Yes. Both the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and the province recommend that individuals who experienced COVID-19 infection after completing their primary series wait for three months after symptoms started or after testing positive (if no symptoms were experienced) before receiving a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

You are considered compliant with the policy if you are unable to receive a booster because you’ve recently had COVID-19. As soon as you are eligible for the booster, you must receive and provide proof of vaccination by January 9, 2023.

My courses are online; do I still need to comply with the vaccination policy?

Students are required to have the primary series plus a booster shot if they are going to come to campus – and this applies to students in both online and in-person classes. The policy does not require students who are only enrolled in fully online courses, and will not be accessing services on campus for other reasons, to receive a vaccine. Students in courses that have an in-person component are required to comply with the vaccination policy.

I received vaccinations outside of Canada that allow me to enter the country but are not Health-Canada authorized. What should I do?

If one or more of your vaccinations is not a Health Canada authorized vaccine, you may need to received additional vaccinations to complete your primary series, followed by a booster at the appropriate time interval. For details see Vaccine FAQ for international students.

What happens if I fail to comply with this policy?

Western’s mandatory vaccination policy requires all students, faculty, staff and certain visitors planning to be on campus this fall to have the primary series plus a booster shot (generally, three doses total) of any combination of COVID-19 vaccines recognized by Health Canada.

Only those students and employees granted a medical or Ontario Human Rights Code accommodation will be exempted from the vaccination requirement, and those with exemptions are required to participate in regular, rapid antigen testing in order to be physically on campus this fall.

The university will follow-up with students and employees who don’t comply with the vaccination policy.

I am feeling sick and unwell. Am I required to isolate?

Individuals must complete the provincial COVID-19 self-assessment before they visit campus each day to ensure proper isolation guidelines are followed.

You should stay home (self-isolate) until:

  • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea) and
  • you do not have a fever and
  • you do not develop any additional symptoms.

Individuals should continue to wear a mask in all settings for a full 10 days from the start date of your symptoms.

Exemptions and Testing

What if I have an existing exemption?

If you have already been granted a vaccine exemption by the University, the exemption continues to be valid.

How do I apply for an exemption?

New members of the community may request an exemption due to a medical condition or religious exemption as protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code.  

Employees can complete a religious exemption request (statement of creed/religious belief) or medical exemption request and submit to takecare@uwo.ca.

Students can complete a religious exemption request (statement of creed/religious belief) or medical exemption request and submit to vaxinfo@uwo.ca.

Visitors to campus who attest to having an active medical condition will be accommodated.

Who needs to be tested and when?

Employees and students who are granted accommodation may be required to participate in a testing program and/or take other health and safety precautions (e.g., masking). The university will determine the appropriate testing program and/or precautions based on the scientific evidence of options.

I recently tested positive for COVID-19 and have been told I need to wait 90 days before getting my booster dose – will I be non-compliant with the policy?

You are considered compliant with the policy if you are unable to receive a booster because you’ve recently had COVID-19. As soon as you are eligible for the booster, you must receive and provide proof of vaccination by January 9, 2023. Employees with questions about COVID-19 infection and the timing of a booster dose should email takecare@uwo.ca and students can contact vaxinfo@uwo.ca.

What if I am in between doses and waiting to be eligible again?

Those whose vaccinations are in progress can comply by getting vaccinated as soon as you are eligible. You must receive and provide proof of vaccination by January 9, 2023. 

Masking

Masks are no longer required in most public settings; why is Western requiring them in instructional spaces?

After hearing from our medical experts and members of our community, we believe this is the best approach to ensure our community can continue learning in-person throughout the year and protect our vibrant on-campus experience without disruption. We understand that each post-secondary will take an approach that makes sense for their specific campus community.

When and where am I required to wear a mask?

Effective September 1, 2022, Western requires medical-grade (ASTM level 3) masks indoors in instructional spaces for degree credit courses such as classrooms, labs and seminar rooms and may be required for large indoor events. If you are presenting, performing, facilitating or speaking to a group you may remove your mask. Exemptions will be granted for the Faculty of Music, where a mask-friendly policy will be implemented in lieu of the required masking for instructional space where and when music-making is occurring.

We strongly encourage masking in all crowded spaces – including busy hallways.

All other spaces on campus such as residence buildings, offices, cubicles, libraries, and eateries are mask-friendly, meaning you can choose to wear a mask if you wish. Similarly, masking is optional for those participating in athletics, fitness, music and theatre.

What if we are using instructional space for other activities, for example group project work or a team meeting?

For other occasions where meetings are required, we strongly encourage masks. Masks are required in instructional spaces for degree credit courses such as classrooms, labs and seminar rooms.

Can you remove your mask to eat or drink within an instructional space?

While in the classroom, you can remove your mask temporarily to take a drink. Eating should only take place outside of the instructional space in the eateries and common spaces.

How will masking be enforced?

Staff in human resources, including safety officers are available as required and can be reached through Health and Safety for support.

Proof of Vaccination

How do I submit my proof of vaccination?

We’ve designed an online process to make it easier to submit your proof of vaccination status. Employees can log into MyHR and look for the “My Vaccinations” tile to upload their proof of vaccination. Steps to access MyHR can be found here.

Students can log into Student Center and look for "My Vaccinations" located in the top left under "Personal Information" to submit their proof of vaccination.

Those who received vaccinations outside of Canada should submit proof for each dose received.

Documents not in English or French should have a certified translation. Additional resources for international students can found on the Western International website.

Note: If you are a student who is also an employee, you only need to submit your proof of vaccination once to either My Student Center or My HR, provided that you use the same User ID for both systems.

When do I have to provide my proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

All employees and students must submit proof that they have received the primary series and one booster of the COVID-19 vaccine by January 9, 2023. Students in residence must submit proof of vaccination for their primary series as soon as possible.

Do I need to show proof of my primary series (first two doses)?

Most members of the campus community have already submitted their proof of vaccination for the primary series (two doses). If you are new to Western and haven’t submitted proof of vaccination for your primary series (two doses), you must do so as soon as possible.  The deadline to submit your primary series including a booster dose (generally 3 doses) is January 9, 2023.

I have provided my proof of vaccination to the university already. Is that proof still saved?

When you go into MyHR or Student Center to upload your most recent proof of vaccination, your previously submitted record will still be there. Students and employees can upload the date of their most recent doses quickly and easily.

Why do I have to provide proof of my COVID-19 vaccination?

Collecting proof of vaccination is a key aspect of implementing Western’s vaccination policy. The more we know about vaccination levels in our community, the better equipped we are to ensure the health and safety of our community, and to preserve the in-person learning experience for the academic year.

What is considered as proof of vaccination?

In Ontario, proof of vaccination can be obtained through the province’s COVID-19 website. Likewise, individuals who received their vaccination out-of-province can obtain proof of vaccination through their provincial government.

International students and others arriving from outside Canada must adhere to federal vaccination requirements for entry to Canada. For a list of eligibility requirements, visit the Government of Canada website. Vaccines approved for entry to Canada may not be the same as the requirements within Western’s vaccination policy. This means you may be required to have additional vaccinations upon arrival or allowed more time to get necessary vaccinations at our on-campus vaccination and testing centre.

Is my personal information secure?

Yes. All proof of vaccination, requests for accommodation and supporting documents, and proof of negative COVID-19 test results will be collected, used, and stored in accordance with the University’s obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31. The records will be destroyed when the policy is terminated.

What are you doing with the information?

The information will be used to determine whether an individual is permitted to attend campus.

Information will also be used to address health and safety concerns on campus, including whether additional or enhanced safety protocols are necessary in the event of an outbreak or otherwise.

Will you follow up with me if I don't provide proof of vaccination?

Yes. Western will follow up with individuals who have not submitted their proof of vaccination.

How will Western track the vaccination status of employees and students who join throughout the year?

Western will require any new employee or student who joins the University throughout the year to comply with our COVID-19 vaccination policy.

General vaccination questions

Can I get vaccinated and tested on campus?

Yes! We’ve worked hard to make this as easy and fast as possible. Western’s on-campus vaccination and testing centre is offering extended hours during August. Community members can stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations by booking an appointment through the vaccination website.

Can students coming from outside of Canada get vaccinated here?

Yes, international students are eligible for vaccinations upon arrival in Canada. Vaccines approved for entry to Canada may not be the same as the requirements within Western’s vaccination policy. This means you may be required to have additional vaccinations upon arrival. Please visit the vaccine FAQ for international students for more information.

Will I have to pay to receive my vaccine(s)?

You have access to COVID-19 vaccinations free of charge, regardless of UHIP/OHIP status. You should provide your UHIP card if asked.

UHIP members in Ontario can receive a vaccination at no cost, regardless of where it is administered (public health unit vaccination sites, designated pharmacies, walk-in clinics, family practices, others).

UHIP members residing in Canada, but outside Ontario, can receive a vaccination at designated public health unit vaccination sites and designated pharmacies only, but may have to pay at other sites, such as walk-in clinics, family doctors, and others.

If you paid for the vaccine, you can submit a claim for reimbursement up to the UHIP designated amount. Contact iesc@uwo.ca with any questions. 

Whom do I contact for more information?

Students can contact vaxinfo@uwo.ca and employees can reach out to takecare@uwo.ca with any additional questions. Visitors to campus or any campus community member hosting a visitor can contact visitorinfo@uwo.ca for more details.

Visitors to Campus

Has Western changed its policy for visitors on campus?

Western has simplified its Visitors on Campus Procedure. Those who will have close interactions in a campus building must have the primary series plus a booster shot (generally, three doses total) of any combination of COVID-19 vaccines recognized by Health Canada. These visitors will be asked to complete an attestation to confirm their compliance with the procedure. Close interactions mean activities where visitors are indoors where there is prolonged exposure to students, staff or faculty.

I am visiting campus; how will I comply with the policy?

Prior to arrival to campus, visitors who will be in a campus building and having close interactions must confirm that they are vaccinated and have received a booster or that they have an active medical condition preventing them from being vaccinated. All visitors must complete a daily symptom check no later than 30 minutes before arriving on campus. Only those without symptoms may be on campus. Certain events or types of visitors may be exempted from these requirements. Specific details are available through the Visitors on Campus Procedure. Visitors to campus or any campus community member hosting a visitor can contact visitorinfo@uwo.ca for more details.

Are there any upcoming events where visitors are exempt from the policy?

Details can be found in the Visitors on Campus Procedure.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit: