Vaccination Requirements FAQ

Is vaccination required for everyone planning to come to campus?

Yes. Queen’s University is joining other universities and colleges in Ontario in implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all individuals (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors) participating in university activities in person, either on Queen’s campus or other Queen’s property.

Why is the university now making full vaccination mandatory?

All universities and colleges in Ontario recently received a letter from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH), recommending mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies at all post-secondary institutions across the 34 Public Health regions in the province.

Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the single most effective public health measure to reduce the spread of the virus. We will continue to work closely with public health officials and stress adherence to all other public health measures. We will continue to adapt our requirements as public health recommendations evolve.

Do I need to provide proof I have been vaccinated with a first and second dose of a vaccine approved either in Canada or by the World Health Organization?

Yes. All individuals who are participating in university activities in person must attest to receiving their first dose of a vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization (WHO) before they come to campus through a vaccination status declaration form. All faculty, staff and students must submit their vaccination status declaration form no later than September 13, 2021. The form requires users to upload proof of their vaccination status.

Faculty, staff and students intending to request an accommodation must notify the appropriate office no later than September 13, 2021 (See below, under “Responsibilities”). Those seeking an accommodation from this vaccination requirement must complete the required form(s) (see links at bottom of webpage) and submit them to the University as indicated on those forms.

Am I permitted to attend classes on campus if I am still not fully vaccinated?

Yes, under certain conditions. You can come to campus while observing all health and safety and regular screening requirements, if:

  • You have had one shot of a two-dose vaccine and are waiting for your second; OR
  • You’ve had both doses but the 14 day period to be considered “fully vaccinated” has not yet passed; OR
  • You have put in an accommodation request and are awaiting a decision; OR
  • You have received an approved accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

As part of our COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, those in the categories above must also take part in an at-home rapid antigen screening program. Rapid antigen screening is a means of detecting the presence of COVID-19 in people who may not have any symptoms. Learn more about rapid testing.

After Oct. 15, individuals who have not received their final required dose of vaccine or an approved accommodation will not be permitted to participate in in-person university activities.

Can I apply for an accommodation to the mandatory vaccination protocol?

Any individual who requires an accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code with respect to vaccination status must formally request such an accommodation and provide supporting documentation. All individuals who are not fully vaccinated due to an approved accommodated need are required to adhere to additional health and safety measures, including, but not limited to, twice weekly rapid testing.

Faculty, staff and students intending to request an accommodation must notify the appropriate office no later than September 13, 2021 (See below, under “Responsibilities”). Those seeking an accommodation from this vaccination requirement must complete the required form(s) (see links at bottom of webpage) and submit them to the University as indicated on those forms.

If an accommodation is approved, it must be in place by Oct. 15. While awaiting the outcome of the approval process, individuals are required to adhere to additional health and safety measures, including, but not limited to, twice weekly rapid testing. If an accommodation is not approved and a person remains unvaccinated, they will not be permitted to participate in in-person university activities after Oct. 15. If an accommodation is approved compliance with additional health and safety measures, including, but not limited to, twice weekly rapid testing will continue to be required after Oct. 15.

How do I request an accommodation for consideration under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

Students: Visit the Student Wellness Services website.

Staff and Faculty: Visit the Queen’s Human Resources website.

Do I need to provide supporting documentation in order to receive an exemption from the mandatory vaccination requirement?

Yes. Any individual who requires an accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code with respect to vaccination status must formally request such an accommodation and provide supporting documentation. For residence students, please log into the Student Residence and Dining Portal.

I'm required under Queen's COVID-19 vaccination policy to undergo rapid testing twice per week because I am not fully vaccinated, am waiting for an accommodation, or I have received an approved accommodation. Where can I find more information about this requirement and how to get tested?

In alignment with our COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, Queen’s University has implemented an at-home rapid antigen screening program for members of our community who are in the process of becoming fully vaccinated, or who have applied for, or received, an approved accommodation. Rapid antigen screening is a means of detecting the presence of COVID-19 in people who may not have any symptoms. Learn more about rapid testing.

When will the university consider me fully vaccinated?

Individuals are not considered fully vaccinated until 14 days after their second and/or final dose of a vaccine protocol.

Where and how can I get vaccinated in Kingston?

Information and vaccination availability in Kingston is provided on the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health website.

How can I book a vaccine appointment elsewhere in Ontario?

To book an appointment through the provincial online system, you will need the following information:

  1. Government of Ontario green photo health card
  2. Birth date
  3. Postal code
  4. Email address or phone number

At the initial time of booking, eligible individuals will be asked to schedule their first or second vaccination appointments. For individuals not in Ontario, please consult your local health authority.

If I don’t have my vaccine receipt or I have misplaced it, where can I obtain one?

If you were vaccinated in Ontario and you need a copy of your vaccination receipt for any reason, you can download a copy from the Ontario Ministry of Health database. Visit the website and click “I have read and understand the terms of use” then enter the information requested. You will then be able to click “Vaccine Receipt” to obtain a copy. If you were vaccinated outside of Ontario, please consult your local public health or provincial authority.

Do I still need to wear a mask after I am fully vaccinated?

Yes. Current government regulation requires this of everyone in indoor areas of every business or organization.

How does this decision affect members of our community vaccinated outside of Canada?

Individuals who received a full series of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine, or a vaccine that is approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), will be considered fully vaccinated to enter the Queen’s campus and other university property.

Individuals who have not received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the WHO may be offered a new series of a Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult Student Wellness Services for options of re-immunization

Individuals who have been vaccinated with a non-WHO approved vaccine may be offered a new series of a Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated outside of Ontario/Canada.

How soon do I need to submit my vaccination declaration form?

Students, staff, and faculty are required to fill out the vaccination status declaration form no later than September 13, 2021. All individuals who are participating in university activities in person must attest to receiving their first dose of a vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization (WHO) and upload proof of their vaccination status before they come to campus, and must receive their final required dose of vaccine no later than October 15, 2021. After Oct. 15, individuals who have not received their final required dose of vaccine or have not received an accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code will not be permitted to participate in university activities. 

What happens if I don’t submit my vaccination declaration form?

All individuals who are participating in university activities must attest to receiving their first dose of a vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization (WHO) and upload proof of their vaccination status no later than September 13, 2021, and before they come to campus, and must receive their final required dose of vaccine no later than October 15, 2021. After Oct. 15, individuals who have not received their final required dose of vaccine or have not received an approved accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code will not be permitted to participate in in-person university activities. 

Where are the records maintained? Are they shared or stored outside of the university?

Records are stored electronically and are collected for the express purpose of allowing the university to verify individuals are cleared to access campus.

How long are the records retained?

The vaccination declaration form and proof of vaccination will be retained no longer than the end of the current academic year. Accommodation requests and supporting documentation will be retained within the appropriate office—i.e., Student Wellness Services (for students) or Human Resources (for employees)—for as long as the accommodation remains in place.

Am I able to update my vaccination declaration form after I submit it?

If an update is required, a new form can be submitted reflecting the appropriate date and new information.

Will my vaccine status or accommodation be reflected on my SeQure App daily screen?

No. The vaccine status declaration is recorded and stored separately but is required to be cleared to access campus. 

What is the university’s legal authority for collecting vaccination information?

Section 38(2) of FIPPA allows institutions to collect personal information where, among other reasons, the collection is expressly authorized by statute, or necessary to the proper administration of a lawfully authorized activity. Queen’s University has legal obligations under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as explained below.

The recommendations are legally binding on Queen’s University because Regulation 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario Act requires the university to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (in this case, with respect to the protection of workers), and to comply with recommendations of public health officers. Thus, the implementation of the recommendation that requires people to provide proof of vaccination is required by law and is necessary to the proper administration of a lawfully authorized activity.

Who has access to an employee’s vaccination declaration form and proof of vaccination?

The vaccination declaration form itself isn’t shared with anyone, although there will be audits to ensure people are uploading valid proof of vaccination. The form goes into the system and based on the responses, returns an approval status. Each manager can then access a dashboard showing the status of their direct reports. The dashboard only shows whether someone is approved to be on campus, not what their vaccination status is. An employee could be approved because they are fully vaccinated, or they could be approved because they have an exemption, but the manager doesn’t know the reason. The other person who has access to the approval status is the Faculty/VP HR manager. Reports are provided to managers for appropriate follow-up.

Who has access to a student’s vaccination declaration form and proof of vaccination?

The vaccination declaration form itself isn’t shared with anyone, although there will be audits to ensure people are uploading valid proof of vaccination. The form goes into the system and based on the responses, returns an approval status. The Dean of the Faculty/School of registration or their delegate will be provided with a report indicating the approval status of each of their respective students. A student’s name, student ID and email address will be provided for appropriate follow-up. Queen’s Residence Office will be provided a report on approval status of students living in residence, and Queen’s Athletics will be provided a report on approval status for varsity athletes participating in sports. These reports show whether a student is approved to be on campus, not what their vaccination status is. A student could be approved because they are fully vaccinated, or they could be approved because they have an exemption, but the reason is not provided in the report. The name, student ID and email address of students who are not approved to be on campus may be shared with instructors, academic staff, or teaching assistants for the purpose of classroom monitoring.

Is the information linked to my employee file?

No.

Is the information linked to my student record?

No.

Where is the information being stored?

Vaccination declaration forms, proof of vaccination, and any other data associated with the form (responses, receipts) is stored on a secure server in a dedicated Queen’s University OneDrive account.

Accommodation request forms and supporting documentation will be stored in the appropriate offices handling the accommodation requests:

  • students: in the Oscar system within QSAS in Student Wellness Services
  • employees: in the paper and electronic record-keeping systems in Human Resources
    • medical accommodations: Return to Work and Accommodation Services
    • creed/religious accommodations: Client Services Team

How is Queen’s ensuring the information is secure and protected?

Queen’s employees are required to sign a confidentiality agreement upon employment and those employees working within a healthcare environment (such Student Wellness Services) sign such agreements on an annual basis. Employees are trained on privacy and the proper handling of personal/personal health information, and receive cybersecurity awareness training. Further guidance is provided through the Records Management and Privacy Office and the IT Security Office.

The vaccination declaration system has been designed within the Queen’s secure Microsoft environment. The dedicated OneDrive account uses a strong password and can only be accessed by a small number of IT developers who maintain the system. Microsoft’s Security Features, together with ITS’s oversight, provide a secure environment for Queen’s University’s records and data.

Reports provided to managers regarding approval status of their direct reports are accessed through a secure web portal. Reports provided to Faculties/Schools, Residences and Athletics regarding approval status of students are provided via a secure file transfer. Reports are not to be download, printed or forwarded.

For accommodation requests, Student Wellness Services and Human Resources have procedures in place with regard appropriate handling of information in accordance with privacy legislation and university policies.

Will the information be securely destroyed when it is no longer required?

Yes. At the end of its retention period records are securely and permanently destroyed in accordance with the University’s Records Management Policy and Data Classification Standard. For the vaccination declaration form and proof of vaccination, this documentation will be permanently deleted from the system with the deletion of the dedicated OneDrive account. Hardcopy records are securely shredded.

What steps will be taken to notify individuals if a privacy breach, related to this information, occurs?

Queen’s will notify individuals in accordance with its Privacy Breach Protocol.