UBC will require proof of vaccination when declaring immunization status
All 90,000 students, faculty and staff must show proof of immunization or undergo regular rapid testing
Just three days before the start of the school term, the University of British Columbia has clarified it will now require all 90,000 of its students, faculty and staff to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination when declaring their immunization status.
UBC president Santa Ono tweeted the announcement Saturday morning, saying that members on campus will be asked to declare that they're fully vaccinated and show proof, or undergo regular rapid testing.
The policy had previously been limited to disclosing one's vaccination status, raising concerns that declarations could be falsified.
Ono had hinted Thursday that self-disclosure would include a "functionality for verification," although it wasn't clear what that would look like.
Matthew Ramsey, the school's director of university affairs, said more information on the rollout would be shared as soon as Tuesday.
"It's a very complex system to design and implement," he said Saturday.
He added that the frequency of rapid testing is still being determined.
B.C.'s provincial health officer has mandated proof of vaccination for student housing, clubs, varsity sports and other non-essential activities.
Other major universities in B.C., including Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, have said they will ask for vaccination statuses.
It wasn't immediately clear Saturday whether they would follow UBC's lead and also require proof of vaccination.
Please tell me <a href="https://twitter.com/SFU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SFU</a> is going to do this too! Voluntary declaration with no consequences is not a reasonable strategy. <a href="https://t.co/0djaPjukCU">https://t.co/0djaPjukCU</a>—@becalska
83% of students fully vaccinated: survey
According to Ramsey, a survey conducted by Vancouver Coastal Health found that 83 per cent of students on the Vancouver campus have received two doses of the vaccine as of Aug. 16.
About 92 per cent say they have received at least one dose, and the "vast majority" of the remainder said they planned to get vaccinated before the start of classes on Tuesday, Ramsey said.
He added that the survey was distributed to all incoming students on the Vancouver campus and received about 16,000 responses.
On Saturday, Ono tweeted that 95 per cent of students surveyed at UBC's Okanagan campus said they had received both doses.
That survey was conducted by Interior Health, Ramsey said, but he couldn't provide the number of students surveyed or respondents.
At least one UBC professor cautioned the surveys could suffer from volunteer bias.
<a href="https://twitter.com/ubcprez?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ubcprez</a> I had really hoped <a href="https://twitter.com/UBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UBC</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ubcokanagan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ubcokanagan</a> would avoid this trap that so many other 🇨🇦universities are falling in to. Such surveys likely suffer from substantial volunteer bias; results should NOT be trusted (however much I'd LOVE a 95% full vaccination rate to be true!) <a href="https://t.co/vWH0Jaqajl">https://t.co/vWH0Jaqajl</a>—@JasonPither
The school did not provide the findings for either survey. Vancouver Coastal Health and Interior Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
- A previous version of this story stated that UBC had mandated vaccines for student housing and other discretionary activities. In fact, the mandate comes from B.C.'s provincial health officer.Sep 04, 2021 5:13 PM PT
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?