Message from the President: UPEI implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations

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Students walking on UPEI campus near AVC

The following message was distributed to faculty and staff to their @upei.ca emails on August 24, 2021.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Over the past year and a half, we have worked together to overcome tremendous challenges during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. While UPEI has done very well to return to a more in-person educational delivery mode for the fall semester, it has become very apparent that we need to take further measures in order to ensure that our campus continues to be as safe as possible for all members of our community.

In light of the evolving pandemic situation and the rapid increase in the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in recent weeks, I met with the Vice-President Academic and Research, the Vice-President Administration and Finance, and the Chief Information Officer to review our planning for the 2021 Fall Academic Semester. I have also spoken with the PEI Chief Public Health Office (PEI-CPHO) and had a very good discussion about the University’s new directive about mandatory vaccinations.

I am writing now to confirm that UPEI will require that all faculty, staff, and students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021.

For those individuals who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical, cultural, or religious reasons, they will be allowed to continue working and studying at UPEI. However, they will need to disclose to the University that they have not been vaccinated, undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, and wear a mask at all times.

In the coming days, the Vice-President Academic and Research and the Vice-President Administration and Finance will communicate more information about the vaccination requirement to provide clarity on the rules and processes going forward. This will include how individuals can disclose that they have not been fully vaccinated and how they can submit testing results. The Associate Vice-President of Students and Registrar will also send information regarding mandatory vaccinations directly to current and incoming students that gives specific details for the student body.

Those individuals who have not yet been fully vaccinated are encouraged to do so in their home communities before coming to UPEI, if possible. The UPEI Health and Wellness Centre, in collaboration with the PEI-CPHO, is offering an on-campus COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic on September 10, 2021, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in McMillan Hall at the W.A. Murphy Student Centre to accommodate students, faculty, and staff who have been unable to access a first and/or second dose of a vaccine.

Mandatory vaccinations are an additional line of defence against COVID-19, but not the only measure we need to employ. I strongly encourage all members of the UPEI community to continue to wear masks and to practice enhanced health, safety, and hygiene practices. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we may need to further update health and safety guidance in concert with the PEI-CPHO.

Thank you for your continued efforts and shared commitment to providing high quality education to our students as well as access to engaging and rewarding learning experiences in a safe and responsible manner. I am confident that by continuing to work together and support each other, we will have a successful return to campus this September.

Best wishes,

 

Dr. Alaa S. Abd-El-Aziz
President and Vice-Chancellor

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