Universities and colleges are debating whether or not to require COVID-19 immunizations for students returning to campus.




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Andrew Mrozowski recently graduated from McMaster University’s political science department, but the editor-in-chief of the school’s student-run newspaper is already planning for the fall term. Mrozowski, who presides over The Silhouette’s full-time undergrad staff, says the Hamilton, Ont., school’s decision not to require vaccinations for students has him concerned for the safety of his reporters.

“I honestly feel uncomfortable sending them to cover events, to cover different news items that are happening in the Hamilton area, within McMaster,” he added.

Aside from the pupils’ safety, he is concerned about unvaccinated newspaper personnel spreading COVID-19 to housemates or family members. “With the community spread witnessed in the last two rounds, this might happen again.”

As pandemic limitations are lifted across the country, heated debates are raging around vaccination proof requirements and whether some venues, such as long-term care homes or schools, should impose a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Hundreds of universities and colleges around the United States, from Rutgers and Yale to USC, Spellman College, and the Berklee College of Music, have made complete vaccination mandatory for all students returning to campus in recent months.

In comparison, the University of Toronto, Western University, and Fanshawe College is among only a few Canadian post-secondary institutions that have announced vaccine requirements for the forthcoming school year – and only for students who live on campus. Most institutions highly encourage but do not require, immunization of students, faculty, and school personnel.

McMaster students, according to Mrozowski, are eager to return to campus, and he believes that making COVID-19 immunization essential will help ease a return to in-person classes and restore some routine.