In the Community

COVID-19 Vaccines and U of A: What You Need to Know

Vaccines are key to ensuring our communities and campuses remain safe—here's what you should know about COVID-19 vaccines and the U of A.

  • March 30, 2021

This story was updated on May 13, 2021.

As Alberta continues to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program, the province has encouraged post-secondary institutions to prepare for a return to campuses this Fall. Alberta Health Services continues to advocate for immunization as the single most effective means of protecting yourself, your loved ones, and the greater community from COVID-19.

What does this mean for the University of Alberta? The U of A supports vaccine use in response to COVID-19, and as we continue planning for Fall 2021 vaccines are a key component to ensuring our communities and campuses remain safe in September. The university’s Public Health Response Team makes several recommendations about COVID-19 vaccine availability and the impact on the U of A—you can see them here

Here are a few key things to know about COVID-19 vaccines and the U of A:

Will COVID-19 vaccines be mandatory for students or employees?

No. At this point, employees, students, contractors and visitors will not need proof of immunization to work or study at the U of A.

That said, the U of A strongly encourages all U of A community members to get vaccinated as soon as they become eligible, provided they are able to do so.

Can I get vaccinated on campus?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination appointments for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are available for all eligible Albertans at the University Health Centre PharmacyCOVID-19 vaccination appointments for the Moderna vaccine are available for all eligible Albertans with a valid health care card at the University Health Centre. All Albertans 12 and older are eligible to get vaccinated now. 

What happens if I’m not vaccinated by Fall 2021?

Whenever possible, the U of A will continue to accommodate students and employees who are impacted by COVID-19. This includes employees and students who cannot or choose not to be vaccinated for medical reasons or on the basis of a protected ground.

What if I get my first vaccine elsewhere, and move to Edmonton before my second dose?

We’re working with Alberta Health Services to figure out how to accommodate students and employees who still need a second dose when they arrive in Edmonton. Alberta Health Services has confirmed that all international students will be eligible for vaccination.

If I have my first or second dose of vaccine, do I still need to follow safety measures?

Yes. Vaccinated people must continue following all of Alberta's public health measures: no indoor social gatherings, keep 2 metres apart from others, wear a mask in public, wash your hands, and stay home when sick. At this time, safety measures remain in place on U of A campuses whether you’re vaccinated or not.

Can I take time off work for a vaccine appointment?

U of A faculty and staff may take up to three hours off with pay to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Similar to other medical appointments, please provide your supervisor with as much advance notice as is possible so that they can ensure operational needs are covered. Where possible, please schedule appointments to least interfere with your work schedule. For more information, please review the COVID Vaccination Leave Reference Guide.

The U of A’s COVID-19 Information Hub remains the best source of information on campus life and health measures for our faculty, staff, and students. 

We recommend you bookmark this article, as we’ll update it with new information as it becomes available.