How do we feel about schools mandating COVID vaccines?
When vaccine passports came into effect in Quebec on Sept.1, a place that was notably missing from the list of locations where vaccine passports would be required was the post-secondary classroom. Understandably, educational institutions are not considered a non-essential service, distinguishing them from the locations where vaccine passports are required upon entry, such as restaurants and fitness centres. At the same time, we students know (boy, do we ever know) all too well that virtual learning — despite its challenges — is possible… so, should those who are unable or unwilling to get vaccinated against COVID-19 be required to learn from home?
It’s important to note that Concordia is following the lead of Quebec health directives, which indicated that vaccination was not necessary to attend classes in-person. In Ontario, however, where vaccine passports were more recently put in place, some universities, such as the University of Ottawa, have independently made vaccine passports mandatory for in-person learning — regardless of their provincial recommendations.
On Sept. 23, Concordia sent an email to all students, informing us that there have been 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by people who “may have been” on campus while they were contagious. As unsettling as that is, there’s no way of knowing whether those potentially contagious students were vaccinated against COVID-19 or not; while most Quebecers are now fully vaccinated, there’s no data on how many Concordians have gotten one or both doses of the vaccine.
So, Concordians, here’s what I’d like to know: do you wish that Concordia had made vaccine passports mandatory for attending classes in-person? Would the reassurance that your classmates are fully vaccinated make your learning experience a more comfortable one? Or, do you think that it isn’t a university’s place to mandate vaccinations?
What’s the Consensus?
Click here to cast your vote:
The results from each poll will be published in the following edition of this column.
Last week I asked readers if they think it’s okay to travel for leisure during the pandemic. Out of 20 submissions, 65% said yes and 35% said no.
Feature Graphic by James Fay