Is vaccination required for everyone planning to come to campus?
Yes. Queen’s joined 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. This includes activities on Queen’s campus or other Queen’s properties, as well as activities in other locations that are organized by or affiliated with Queen’s.
This decision aligns with 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.
What is Queen’s vaccination requirement?
Individuals (including, but not limited to, students, staff, faculty, contractors, visitors and volunteers) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to participating in any in-person university activities, with the rare exception of those faculty, staff, and students who cannot be vaccinated due to validated exemptions (medical and other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code).
All faculty, staff, and students were to have completed their vaccination status declaration form by Sept. 13, 2021. Everyone whose declaration indicates that they are fully vaccinated must also upload proof of their vaccination status.
What do fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and un-vaccinated mean?
- Fully Vaccinated: An individual is considered Fully Vaccinated only if they have received:
- the full series of a vaccine, or a combination of vaccines, approved by Health Canada and they received their last dose at least 14 calendar days before completing this vaccination status declaration;
- a complete one or two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use by Health Canada, AND they received one dose of an mRNA vaccine approved by Health Canada at least 14 calendar days before completing this vaccination status declaration;
- three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use by Health Canada and they received their last dose at least 14 calendar days before completing this vaccination status declaration.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, if an applicable public health authority announces a different meaning of “Fully Vaccinated”, that definition will take precedence.
- Partially Vaccinated: An individual is considered partially vaccinated if the individual has not yet received all the required doses of a Covid-19 vaccine (see definition for Fully Vaccinated above), OR if they received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine required to be considered Fully Vaccinated less than 14 calendar days ago.
- Un-Vaccinated: An individual is considered unvaccinated if they have not received any dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine.
Which vaccinations are currently approved by Health Canada?
Visit the Government of Canada’s list of approved COVID-19 vaccines for a full list of approved vaccinations.
When is the deadline for declaring my vaccination status to the university? When must I be fully vaccinated?
Under the Policy Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Requirements for In-Person University Activities (“Policy”), all students, faculty, and staff are required to have already submitted their vaccination status declaration form by September 13 and to have uploaded proof of vaccinations to the online tool.
As communicated earlier, these declarations and the supporting documents are subject to random audits by the University. Any students flagged during the audit process who have not uploaded valid documents showing the required vaccinations will be de-registered from all in-person classes as of November 12, 2021.
The university will be following up with individuals flagged during the auditing process to ensure the submission of valid documents showing full vaccination is completed by this date.
What should I do if a change in the definition of fully vaccinated results in a change in my vaccination status?
Your status may be affected by our recent Vaccination Policy update which was done to align with Ontario’s Enhanced Digital Vaccine Receipt requirements.
Individuals who previously declared to the university fully vaccinated status, and who now no longer meet the fully vaccinated criteria of the updated Vaccination Policy as listed above must change their vaccination status declaration to partially vaccinated and they should consult with 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.
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:
- Government of Ontario green photo health card
- Birth date
- Postal code
- 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?
- Ontario residents can obtain a copy of their enhanced vaccine certificate through the provincial Ontario Health portal.
- Individuals who were vaccinated in a province or territory other than Ontario should visit their province or territory's site for more information on how to obtain a copy of their vaccination receipt
- Individuals who were vaccinated in a province/territory/country that does not provide a vaccine receipt are required to provide an official document from the third-party agency that administered the vaccine. The Province of Ontario provides guidance for individuals vaccinated outside of Ontario/Canada and is available on their website.
Am I permitted to attend classes on campus if I am still not fully vaccinated?
Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and have not been given specific approval are not permitted to participate in in-person university activities.
Can I apply for an accommodation to the mandatory vaccination protocol?
Faculty, staff, and students who sought an accommodation were to have notified the appropriate office no later than Sept. 13, 2021 (See below, under “Responsibilities”). Those individuals were required to complete the required form(s) (see links at bottom of webpage) and submit them to the university.
If you have an approved accommodation request or an approved delay in reaching fully vaccinated status, compliance with additional health and safety measures will be required. This includes continuing to mask and distance in all indoor spaces, participation in twice weekly rapid antigen testing, and staying out of higher risk indoor areas like the ARC and eat-in dining.
If you were not approved and you choose to remain unvaccinated, you are not permitted to participate in ANY in-person university activities.
I'm required under Queen's COVID-19 vaccination policy to undergo rapid antigen 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.
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, except in designated areas for approved purposes when masks may be temporarily removed.
Where are the vaccination 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 participate in in-person university activities. Confirmation of an individual’s vaccination status may be necessary for participation in in-person activities such as fitness activities, in-person dining, and placements.
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?
Yes. 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.
- On August 17, 2021, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, Dr. Kieran Moore, announced that post-secondary institutions will be required to implement COVID-19 vaccination policies, with specific minimum requirements.
- On August 24, 2021, the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health issued a letter to all Ontario university and college Presidents, making specific recommendations about the elements to be included in post-secondary institutions’ COVID-19 vaccination policies, including requiring individuals to be vaccinated or have a permitted exemption, and to provide proof of vaccination. Those recommendations are legally binding on Queen’s University.
- On August 30, 2021, the Office of the Chief Medical of Health for Ontario issued instructions requiring post-secondary institutions to establish and implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy by no later than September 7, 2021, with specific required precautions and procedures, including requiring individuals to be fully vaccinated or have a permitted exemption, and to provide proof of vaccination.
- On August 31, 2021, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities issued a Health Measures Framework for Postsecondary Education which includes information about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies and related requirements.
These 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, nor is the proof of vaccination document(s), although there will be audits to ensure individuals 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 reports indicating the status of each of their respective students if they indicate anything other than fully vaccinated. A student’s name, student ID and email address will be provided for appropriate follow-up, including reminders of the enhanced measures required, and offers to discuss academic options. Queen’s Residence Office will be provided a report on status of students living in residence, and Queen’s Athletics will be provided a report on status for varsity athletes participating in sports.
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?
Is the information linked to my student record?
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.