'It makes me feel more secure': NAIT and MacEwan COVID-19 proof of vaccination programs begin

Some post-secondary institutions in Edmonton have begun enforcing COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

As of Monday, students at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and MacEwan University were asked to provide proof of vaccination to gain entry to in-person classes.

At MacEwan, students are required to use their mobile app to upload proof they’ve received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or a negative rapid antigen test completed within 72 hours of arriving on campus.

According to the university, those who do not comply could face expulsion.

NAIT students needed to show proof they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at campus doors.

“Our priority is health and safety on campus,” said Melanie Rogers, NAIT’s vice president of external relations.

“The efforts aren’t small, but we’re willing to do anything to keep our campus safe.”

NAIT students have until Nov. 1 to provide proof of both doses or a negative test result. However, campus access will only be granted to fully vaccinated students starting Nov. 8.

On Monday, more than 11,000 NAIT students had downloaded their school’s proof-of-vaccination app, with 84 per cent registered as fully vaccinated and only nine per cent indicating they had only received a single dose.

Students hope that proof-of-vaccination systems will keep classes’ in-person.

“I like it because then we don’t get our class shut down,” said Ryan Arntson.

“It makes me feel more secure at school,” said Orianna Christensen.

“If we have any outbreaks in our classroom, we miss two weeks of clinicals,” said Jordan Fenton. “Which has a domino effect on our entire program. So it makes us feel better that everyone is vaccinated.”

The University of Alberta made providing proof of vaccination mandatory on Oct. 4.