Vaccines for COVID-19 are a relatively new control coming available through 2021 for the prevention of infection and reduction of serious health impacts. As the technology is new, supplies are constrained, duration of protection is not known and variants of concern continue to spread, dependence on vaccines as the singular control for COVID-19 is not advisable at this time. Vaccines will be considered as part of a system of complementary public health measures being rolled out to reduce COVID-19 risk on campus.

The university has implemented the following principles and measures related to COVID-19 vaccinations:

  1. The university will maintain and revise, as required, its Safety Measures General Directives including a section on vaccinations and the ongoing use of other public health measures. The institution will maintain such measures through at least the Fall Term 2021 or until Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) provides alternative guidance.
  2. Participation in Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccination program is strongly encouraged for all employees, students, contractors or visitors. COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory as a condition of employment, for engagement in educational or research programs or for entry into university facilities.
    • Employees will be provided with up to 3 hours with pay if they are required to attend a vaccination appointment during working hours.
  3. Proof of immunization is not required in order to access university facilities or participate in university programming.
  4. The university will take reasonable steps to accommodate students and employees who are impacted by operational changes due to COVID-19, including those who cannot or choose not to be vaccinated on the basis of a protected ground.
    • Students who may require accommodations should contact the Office of the Dean of Students Accessibility Resource Centre at
    • Staff who may require accommodation must discuss their needs with their supervisor, and seek a verified accommodation. Staff accommodations for medical reasons require medical confirmation from the employee’s physician, and will require followup from the university’s third-party disability management provider, Homewood Health, to confirm accommodation requirements. Accommodations on the basis of other protected ground(s) will also require verification. Supervisors should seek guidance from their HR Service Partner.
  5. The university will amplify vaccine rollout information available through the Province of Alberta and Government of Canada public health authorities and will clearly communicate:
    • Support of vaccine use in COVID-19 risk mitigation
    • Vaccine availability on or in proximity to U of A campuses
    • Impacts to university operations as vaccinations are made available
    • How employee and students can be accommodated as needed
    • Travel requirements and restrictions and the individual’s responsibility to be in compliance related to vaccinations
  6. Employees, students, contractors and visitors are encouraged to routinely update themselves on the vaccine rollout and act quickly, according to their eligibility, to obtain their first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  7. The university will take reasonable steps to support international students to assist them in complying with federal government entry requirements associated with vaccinations.
  8. The university will continue to advocate with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, the prioritization of all students engaged in practicums associated with teaching and health service delivery and university high risk service workers/COVID-19 researchers for receipt of the vaccine. The university will further encourage Alberta Health to consider the prioritization of all university faculty and staff to facilitate the university’s ability to maximize the return to in-person instruction.

Until most Albertans are protected, and on the advice of the CMOH, fully vaccinated employees, students, contractors and visitors must continue following all public health measures outlined in the Safety Measures General Directives and by the Province of Alberta. Some of the vaccines require multiple doses and protection should make it less likely to become severely sick with COVID-19. It is unknown whether the vaccines will prevent people from spreading the virus to others.