On August 26, the University of Toronto announced that all members of our community who come onto our campuses in the fall must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and will be required to upload proof of vaccination via UCheck. The University expects all members of the community to have their first dose by September 13, and to be fully vaccinated by October 15. This requirement aligns with the recent recommendations of the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health for post-secondary institutions in the province and the sector’s response.
This means that as of September 13, all students, faculty, staff and librarians at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy will be required to upload proof of vaccination using the UCheck system. You will be able to upload your vaccine information in early September. In addition, students in the PharmD and PharmD for Pharmacists programs will be required to upload proof of vaccination using Synergy Gateway.
Prior to this announcement, the University had outlined that all students, faculty, and staff engaged in certain high-risk activities would be required to provide proof of full vaccination. As a health sciences faculty, we are engaged in activities deemed higher-risk and many students in our professional programs have already begun the process of providing proof of vaccination through Synergy Gateway.
Permitted Exemptions and Rapid Screening
As outlined by the University, individuals seeking a permitted exemption for medical reasons or other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be able to make a request through the University’s Enterprise Service Centre (ServiceNow). More information about requesting an exemption will be available next week. Students who have already applied for an exemption (i.e., living in residence) will continue that process.
Individuals who are awaiting their final vaccine dose or who have received a University-approved exemption must participate in the University’s rapid screening program and may be subject to additional safety measures. At-home screening kits will be provided to these individuals and available for pick-up at no cost, along with an instructional video. Results must be uploaded in UCheck at least twice weekly (subject to change depending on public health conditions), and a negative result will be required before coming to University-owned or operated premises.
Individuals who are neither fully vaccinated nor enrolled in the rapid screening program by September 13 cannot come to any University premises. Rapid screening cannot be used as an alternative to vaccination without an approved exemption.
Get your shot, do your part
Vaccines remain one of the most effective tools for protecting yourself and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. As a pharmacist and health science educator, I encourage all of our students to get vaccinated. To date, many of our students, faculty, and staff have played an instrumental role in supporting Ontario’s ongoing vaccination efforts and we are deeply proud of this contribution. If you have questions about vaccination or need details on how to get vaccinated, the University has provided information on vaccine safety and links to provincial and municipal appointment booking platforms.
While this is a welcome development in the University’s approach to planning for a safe return this fall, I understand that it can be difficult to cope with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic at a personal level and in relation to your academic studies. We appreciate your ongoing understanding and flexibility as we work toward a successful start to the fall term together.
Associate Dean Academic
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto