‘Regretfully, but necessarily’: Seneca College president says COVID-19 vaccination policy will end Dec. 31

Seneca College’s vaccination policy, which requires students, employees, contractors and visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter campus buildings, will end at the end of the year.

The college’s president, David Agnew, made the announcement Monday in a press release.

“Regretfully, but necessarily, I am announcing today that Seneca’s vaccination policy will end on Dec. 31, 2022,” Agnew said.

The announcement comes after the Ontario Superior Court’s decision last month to uphold the college’s vaccine mandate after two unvaccinated students sought an injunction so that they could attend classes and complete their programs – which didn’t offer online options.

Agnew said that as federal and provincial vaccination policies become more lenient, the college can no longer “independently and accurately verify vaccination status.”

“Governments at all levels have made it clear through their actions that the level of protection you have against COVID-19 has become a personal choice,” Agnew added.

Agnew said that Seneca’s vaccine policy, as well as its current approach to masking, will continue until the end of the year and that mandated masking in classrooms, labs and some other settings will remain in place indefinitely.

Agnew also said he was proud that Seneca put the health and safety of staff and students first during the pandemic by implementing a comprehensive vaccination policy.

Seneca announced in July 2021 that it had mandated COVID-19 vaccines for all students and staff ahead of the school year, becoming the first college or university in Ontario to adopt that type of policy.

“We were able to set an example for the country because, eventually, we were supported by federal and provincial policies that made vaccinations mandatory in certain circumstances,” he said.

“Now, those measures are gone.”

Agnew is Chair of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health and Chair of Polytechnics Canada.

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