This article was published on: August 23rd, 2021

On Monday, August 16, Niagara College announced that it will require students, employees, visitors and contractors who are learning or working on campus this fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Niagara College’s decision to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy comes in response to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, consultation with public health authorities and at the direction of the province of Ontario. You can view Niagara College’s COVID-19 vaccination policy here. 

Students, employees, contractors and those visiting a Niagara College campus for college business will be required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have received a first dose of a Health Canada or World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine by September 7, and a second dose/full vaccination by October 18.

Students who are planning to attend in-person classes or campus activities this fall must upload their proof of vaccination via the “Vaccination Policy Documentation” link on the myNC student portal no later than August 31 in order to guarantee that they will have their access validated in time for the start of the Fall Term. All personal health information, including proof of vaccination that is collected by Niagara College will be temporarily stored in accordance with the College’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy policy, reviewed for authenticity/completeness and then deleted when no longer required.

The college will continue to require employees and students to fill out a daily health assessment before arriving to campus. When arriving to campus, staff and students must proceed to a designated building access point. Students will be required to tap their Niagara College Student ID on a reader which will display their approved vaccination status and successful completion of the health screening to the staff at the door. Employees will also tap in at designated entrances.

Niagara College encourages all students and employees who are attending work, classes, labs or activities on campus to arrive early as there may be lineups at access control points until everyone becomes accustomed to the process. 

The COVID-19 vaccination policy is intended to add an additional layer of protection to the comprehensive health and safety measures that are already in place – including daily health screenings, physical distancing, mask requirements and enhanced cleaning. These ongoing measures have kept the Niagara College community safe since the onset of the pandemic – including over one thousand employees that have spent some time working on campus and three terms of hybrid programming that have seen almost half of Niagara College students experience some on-campus classes or labs – with no incidents of on-campus transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Niagara College’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy also outlines how employees and students who are not vaccinated due to medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code can request an exemption. Application forms can be found here. 

Niagara College’s on-campus businesses, including the Wine Visitor + Education Centre and Greenhouse will continue to operate within existing provincial COVID measures and requirements for businesses.

FAQs regarding the policy can be found here. 

Studies continue to show that vaccines are safe, and the most effective tool in reducing the risk of serious illness and limiting the spread of COVID-19. Currently, people 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. For further information, including updates on eligibility, how to book vaccination appointments, and frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines, visit Niagara Region Public Health vaccine page and the government of Ontario’s vaccine page.