Concerns raised about tight timeline for an Ontario university's vaccine mandate

western u mask cp

Concerns are being raised that Western University's decision to require at least one COVID-19 booster shot shortly before the fall semester may create barriers for some students.

The London, Ont., university announced Monday that students and staff returning to campus must have at least three COVID-19 shots and wear masks in classrooms.

Ethan Gardner, president of the university's student council, says the tight timeline for the policy change is the most common concern he's hearing so far.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Zain Chagla says the purpose of Western's three-dose policy is unclear.

He says requiring three doses may not do much to prevent COVID-19 transmission and warns it may exclude students from marginalized communities where booster dose uptake is lower.

Marie Dolcetti-Koros, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, says mandates create barriers for students who are not vaccinated with Health Canada-approved vaccines, or who aren't vaccinated for personal reasons.