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Maritime universities report high rates of vaccination among students ahead of September classes


Maritime universities are encouraging students to get vaccinated before returning to campus, but none are making it mandatory.

The question has been posed at post-secondary institutions across the country.

With students returning to class in just a few weeks, only two Canadian schools have made the decision to make vaccinations mandatory: The University of Ottawa, and Seneca College in the Greater Toronto Area.

No on-campus vaccination requirement has been recommended by any of the three Maritime public health authorities.

"We had that discussion in the spring and early in the summer," says Jeffrey Carleton, St. Thomas University's association vice-president. "We reached out and consulted with public health on what the best route to go was. We've watched vaccination rates carefully. We've also surveyed our students."

Carleton says the university's survey suggested a high number of students would be fully vaccinated once classes began Sept. 8 "at a much higher rate than other people their age in New Brunswick."

Right now, about 71 per cent of New Brunswickers in the university age group have received their first vaccine dose, while about 53 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Carleton says 96 per cents of students stated they had already or intended to be fully vaccinated by September.

"We're confident with what students have told us about vaccines," says Carleton. "We're going to follow the direction of public health with regard to awareness and education."

Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. also surveyed students about their vaccination status or intentions.
"We had more than 90 per cent of students indicating they will be vaccinated when they come, so again a very high percentage," says Daniel Keefe, Acadia University's provost and vice-president academic.

"We don't think a mandatory vaccination policy is necessary. We're following the route of education and encouragement."

Several COVID-19 vaccination clinics are scheduled on Maritime university campuses in early September. Top Stories

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