Mandatory Vaccine Policy

  1. Introduction and Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Policy
  5. Exemption Applications
  6. Compliance and Consequences
  7. Privacy
  8. Further Information


Download the .pdf version


Category: General
Jurisdiction: Provost & VP Academic and VP Administration & Finance
Approval Authority: Executive Team
Established on: September 3, 2021
Amendments: September 18, 2021

I. Introduction and Purpose

Lakehead University is committed to promoting the health, safety, and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of our University community is paramount, and vaccination against COVID-19 is a key public measure to reduce the spread and severity of the virus and its variants.

The post-secondary sector has received a strong recommendation from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH) to require mandatory vaccination for all individuals (including but not limited to students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors) involved in any in-person University activities. COMOH strongly recommends that:

  1. Full vaccination against COVID-19 be required for all individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors), with the rare exception of those individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to permitted exemptions (medical and other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code). Individuals are to be required to submit proof of vaccination.
  2. All individuals who are unvaccinated due to permitted exemptions or who are awaiting their second dose be required to adhere to additional health and safety measures, up to and including serial and frequent rapid testing. 
  3.  Individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors) should be fully vaccinated as soon as operationally feasible.

On August 30, 2021, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) issued Instructions for PSE
institutions to establish, implement, and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 vaccination policy requiring its employees, staff, contractors, volunteers, and students who attend campus to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Additionally, the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Colleges and Universities released its Postsecondary Education Health Measures Framework for Fall 2021 on August 31, 2021 supplementing the OCMOH Instructions. This Policy fulfils several legal obligations of the University to keep our campuses and the  Lakehead community safe and healthy. While not an exhaustive list of legal obligations, Universities are required under the Reopening Ontario Act to implement the recommendations of public health authorities, and under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to maintain a safe work environment.

This Policy outlines the mandatory vaccination requirements that will be required of those accessing Lakehead University Premises, and are in addition to existing and future control measures such as mandatory masking, physical distancing, personal hygiene practices, and ongoing cleaning and sanitization protocols.

The purposes of this vaccination policy are to:

  1. define the conditions that members of our Lakehead community, and others, are permitted access to Lakehead University Premises.
  2. to encourage higher vaccination rates among Lakehead community members so as to help keep our communities safe.
  3. to direct and provide guidance for all persons accessing any Lakehead University owned, operated or controlled facility; and
  4. to ensure Lakehead University is in compliance with applicable laws

II. Application and Scope

This policy takes effect immediately and remains in effect until further notice.

This Policy applies to anyone accessing Lakehead University Premises, including, but not limited to, Lakehead students, faculty, and staff, contractors, and others visiting or conducting business on Lakehead University Premises.

This policy does not, and shall not be interpreted to, supersede or conflict with any current laws applicable to Lakehead University. For greater certainty, in the event that more stringent Vaccination and exemption requirements are prescribed by law, such more stringent provisions prevail over this Policy.

From time to time, this Policy may be updated and amended, as necessary, in accordance with directives, advice, instructions, recommendations, and guidance from public health and government authorities, and when warranted to adhere to developments in public health and safety policies, legal issues, and the University's activities and operations. At all times, the University will be guided by public health information, legislative requirements, and its existing obligations under, among others, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Human Rights Code.

III. Definitions

"Fully Vaccinated" means receipt of the full series of a Vaccine or a combination of Vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada and/or World Health Organization and the last dose has been received at least 14 days before the date of the self-declaration. Given the changing nature of the pandemic, if the applicable public health authorities announce a different meaning of "Fully Vaccinated", that definition will take precedence. Click here to view the Province of Ontario’s latest definition of “Fully Vaccinated”.

"Lakehead University Premises" mean any physical indoor space or outdoor grounds that are owned, leased, licensed, operated, or otherwise occupied by Lakehead University, or as otherwise determined by Lakehead University from time to time.

"Proof of Vaccination" means a written vaccination record of an individual's COVID-19 immunization date(s) issued by the government of the province, territory or country in which they were immunized.

"Rapid Test" means antigen point-of-care testing to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus. Rapid testing is used for screening purposes only, and is not used for diagnosis of acute COVID-19 infection.

"Vaccination" means inoculated with a Vaccine, and "Vaccine" means a COVID-19 vaccine accepted by Health Canada and/or World Health Organization (WHO).

IV. Policy

Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all individuals prior to participating in any activity on Lakehead University premises as defined above (including, but not limited to, students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors), with the rare exception of those individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to permitted exemptions (medical and other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code). Individuals are required to submit Proof of Vaccination in a form acceptable to the University. Individuals who request an exemption must complete the applicable form(s) specified by the University and submit them to the University as indicated on those forms.

Between September 7, 2021 and October 20, 2021 (inclusive), as a condition of access to Lakehead University Premises, individuals must be, and must provide the University with proof that they are,
either Fully Vaccinated or have received either their first dose of a two-dose Vaccine or one dose of a one-dose Vaccine. Individuals with a Vaccination who are not Fully Vaccinated, or who have an approved permitted exemption (see Article V below), must provide proof of negative Rapid Tests in accordance with this Policy and the Lakehead University Testing Procedures.

Effective October 21, 2021, as a condition of access to Lakehead University Premises, all individuals must be Fully Vaccinated and must provide Proof of Vaccination to the University. Individuals who have an approved permitted exemption (see Article V below) will be subject to additional public health measures, including mandatory Rapid Testing and disclosure of test results in accordance with this Policy and the Lakehead University Testing Procedures.

NOTE: This timeline means that, other than for those with valid exemptions, individuals must receive their second Vaccine dose (or one dose of a one-dose Vaccine) no later than October 7, 2021 in order to be Fully Vaccinated by October 21, 2021.

Individuals who work or have practicums/placements in external organizations (e.g. hospitals and health facilities, schools, agencies) are advised that the external organization may have additional vaccine or other requirements. Such individuals are encouraged to be familiar and comply with requirements of such external organizations.

All individuals, whether or not Fully Vaccinated, must continue to adhere to all public safety measures, including existing public health and government directives, and Lakehead University's mandated health and safety protocols, including requirements for masking and other PPE, physical distancing, and hygiene, while on Lakehead University Premises.

V. Exemption Applications

Individuals who cannot be Fully Vaccinated as a result of a medical condition or other ground protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code, may apply for an exemption from the requirement to be Fully Vaccinated, using the University's Exemption Request Procedure including the relevant Exemption Application Form. Individuals applying for exemptions may be required to provide supporting medical or other relevant documentation requested by the University. Individuals who cannot be Fully Vaccinated because they are under the age that vaccinations are available are exempt from the vaccination provisions of this Policy.

Contractors' employees accessing Lakehead University Premises should follow their employers' policies and procedures regarding attestation, provision of Proof of Vaccination, and exemption applications. Contractors accessing Lakehead University Premises must implement policies and procedures that are substantially the same as this Policy.

Before accessing Lakehead University Premises, Individuals whose exemption applications are approved must submit a negative Rapid Test result in accordance with Lakehead University Testing Procedures. If ongoing access to Lakehead University Premises is required, such individuals will be required to present a negative Rapid Testing in the frequency as determined by Lakehead University in accordance with the University's testing procedures.

NOTE:  For research activities that involve greater than minimal risk to in-person research occurring off Lakehead University Premises, the Lakehead University Research Ethics Board may require adherence to all or some of this Policy, such as submission of proof of vaccination.

Lakehead University may establish exceptions, introduce or extend deadlines, or amend this Policy as may be necessary or deemed prudent by Lakehead University, having regard to all relevant factors and to ensure the Policy’s ongoing responsiveness to public health and safety developments and conditions, legal developments, and Lakehead University’s activities and operations.

VI. Compliance and Consequences

For greater certainty, Employees scheduled to work on Lakehead University Premises, who do not comply with the Vaccination requirements set out in Article IV of this Policy and do not receive an exemption as set out in Article V, will not be permitted to access to any Lakehead University Premises. These employees may be subject to discipline and/or placed on an unpaid leave of absence in Lakehead's sole discretion.

It is a violation of this Policy:

  1. to access Lakehead University Premises without fully complying with this Policy;
  2. to fail to report to any required COVID-19 testing;
  3. to provide any false, misleading, or otherwise dishonest information or documents to the University in relation to this Policy; or
  4. To otherwise fail to comply with any COVID-19 health or safety precaution requirement put in place by the University, whether or not such requirement is expressly set out in this Policy.

Compliance and enforcement of this Policy will be conducted in accordance with the law and existing University policies and processes, such as, but not limited to:

  • Lakehead University Student Code of Conduct policies;
  • Lakehead University Employee Code of Conduct; and
  • Lakehead University's various collective bargaining and employment agreements.

Consequences for Contravention of this Policy or Submitting Fraudulent Information

  1. Employees of the University who contravene this Policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including removal of access to Lakehead University Premises and/or termination from employment, in accordance with the relevant collective or employment agreement and policies.
  2. Students who contravene this Policy may be subject to removal of access to Lakehead University Premises and discipline in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct. A student who is also an employee of the University may be subject to discipline both as a student and an employee.
  3. Other individuals, such as visitors and volunteers, who contravene this Policy may be trespassed from the University on such conditions and/or for such duration as determined by the University

VII. Privacy

Personal information under this Policy is collected under the authority of the section 12 and 14 of the Lakehead University Act, 1965.

All attestations, Proof of Vaccination, exemption applications, supporting documents, and proof of negative COVID-19 test results (including Rapid Test results) will be collected, used, and stored in accordance with the University's obligations pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31 and the Personal Health Information and Protection Act, 2004, S.O. 2004, c. 3, Sch. A, as applicable.

This information will be used to determine and address whether there has been a breach of this Policy, whether an individual is permitted to access Lakehead University Premises as set out above and to address health and safety concerns on Lakehead University Premises, including whether additional or enhanced safety protocols are necessary in the event of an outbreak or otherwise, and for related administrative and statistical purposes including non-identifiable reporting as required by law and government direction.

VIII. Further Information

Please see the Mandatory Vaccination Policy FAQs section on this webpage.
The University reserves the right to amend or add to the University's policies and statements from time to time.

Review Period: 1 year
Date for Next Review: TBD
Related Policies and Procedures: This Policy is to be read in conjunction with applicable laws, public health authority recommendations, University policies and practices or collective agreement provisions, including without limitation the following. The below list is not a comprehensive list

Policy Superseded by this Policy: N/A.

The University Secretariat manages the development of policies through an impartial, fair governance process. Please contact the University Secretariat for additional information on University policies and procedures and/or if you require this information in another format:

Open: Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm;
Location: University Centre, Thunder Bay Campus, Room UC2002;
Phone: 807-343-8010 Ext. 7929