COVID-19 vaccination to be required for Fanshawe College residences

Fanshawe College in London, Ont. is seen Thursday, April 9, 2020. (Bryan Bicknell / CTV London)

Fanshawe College has announced it will require students living in residence to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The announcement comes a week after Western University announced the same requirement for its students.

Fanshawe says students living in residence this fall will be required to have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and will be expected to have a second dose scheduled in the recommended timeframe.

David Norwood, Fanshawe's director of residence operations, said in a statement, "Providing an enriched residence living experience is a top priority for the Fanshawe Residence experience this fall, and that requires measures to protect ourselves and our student community to the fullest extent we can...Health officials have told us that vaccines are the best way to provide an environment for that to happen."

Speaking during a virtual media briefing Thursday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit's Dr. Chris Mackie called the decision by both schools 'fantastic' and one that will make for a safer learning environment.

"Big, big, big props. Thank you very much to Fanshawe for doing that. You'll really certainly prevent cases and likely outbreaks from occurring in the future by doing that."

Anyone who cannot get a vaccine in their home community will get assistance from the college to schedule an appointment locally, and must have their first dose within 14 days of arriving. They will face restrictions until their vaccination.

 

Exemptions can be requested for students who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or other grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code, but they could see restrictions on access, activities or room occupancy imposed.

While staff and students won't have to show proof of vaccination to attend on-campus labs, classes or services, the college is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Additional details on Fanshawe's response to COVID-19 are available here.