Last updated: December 14, 2021 at 10:06 a.m.
Vaccination is a key public health measure to ensure a safe return to campus and residences for all staff, students and faculty of post-secondary education institutions and student residences. The Province of Ontario has mandated COVID-19 vaccines in high-risk settings, including post-secondary institutions.
People who are vaccinated are less likely to get infected with COVID-19 and spread it to others. While there is a chance that people who are vaccinated may become infected with the virus, they are much less likely to experience severe illness and become hospitalized.
The following Toronto Public Health (TPH) toolkit is a summary and collection of COVID-19 vaccine resources for post-secondary education institutions and private student residences to be used as part of public health planning and policy development for the fall 2021 term and beyond.
Approved Vaccines & Vaccine Schedules
There are four vaccines currently approved by Health Canada: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
Vaccines received outside of Canada/Ontario
Individuals who live in Toronto and received a first or second dose outside Ontario are encouraged to document their vaccine so it can be uploaded to the provincial database and to review information for people who received a vaccine outside Ontario to determine if an additional dose is needed.
Table 1: minimum vaccine dose intervals of valid vaccines recognized in Ontario as per Health Canada
||2 doses, 21 day interval
||2 doses, 28 day interval
||2 doses, 8 week interval
|Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
Mandatory Vaccination Policy for Post-Secondary Institutions
See Instructions from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) to post-secondary institutions regarding mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies.
Assess your setting’s risk of transmission by considering the following:
- Does your community have a high vaccination rate?
- Are staff and students required to be in close contact with others?
- How long and how often are staff and students in close contact with others?
- Does your setting have physical barriers when staff and students cannot keep distance from each other, good ventilation and personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers?
- Do you have staff, students, or faculty who may be at risk for severe illness from COVID-19? Some people may have reduced immunity due to age, pre-existing health conditions or medical treatments.
- Is your setting able to offer alternative work for people who require accommodation?
- How will your setting accommodate people who test positive and need supports?
Strategies to Encourage Vaccine Uptake
Post-secondary institutions can encourage staff and students to get vaccinated and can support increased vaccination uptake with a few simple steps:
- Lead by example and get vaccinated.
- Share your reasons for getting the vaccine.
- Consider recruiting vaccine champions to help staff and students understand the benefits of getting vaccinated.
- Post information about nearby vaccination clinics in common areas.
- Offer flexible work hours, or paid time off for employees to go get vaccinated.
Planning Vaccination Clinics on Campus
Post-secondary institutions are encouraged to engage with Toronto Public Health to promote vaccination and establish vaccination clinics on campus.
Individuals looking to get immunized can visit the City of Toronto COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated website for more information including on vaccine eligibility, how to access their vaccine, and more.
Institutions seeking to partner with Toronto Public Health for onsite COVID-19 vaccination clinics in their student residences and on-campus are invited to complete a short survey. TPH staff will call or email you within three business days to confirm the details of your request and clarify any additional information required.
Mobile Clinic Request Intake Form
Vaccination Resources for Post-Secondary Institutions
- Approved COVID-19 Vaccines (Health Canada): Webpage providing information on COVID-19 vaccines, including approved vaccines, types of vaccines and on-going safety monitoring.
- COVID-19 and Ontario’s Human Rights Code – Questions and Answers (Ontario Human Rights Commission): Provides answers to common questions regarding human rights and obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic, covering the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, tenants and landlords, as well as residential institutions.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated outside of Ontario/Canada (Ministry of Health): Guidance document providing health care providers and public health units with approaches for individuals who have received COVID-19 vaccination outside of Ontario or Canada.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Post-Secondary Institutions (Toronto Public Health): Guidance document providing recommended guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in post-secondary institutions.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet (Ministry of Health): Summary document providing basic information only on COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19: Vaccine Clinic Locations (Toronto Public Health): Website providing information and locations for all vaccine clinics including City-run immunization clinics, hospital immunization clinics and pharmacies using location or address.
- COVID-19: Vaccine Resources (City of Toronto): Webpage providing vaccine-related posters, graphics and other resources such as videos in multiple languages to help share messages about the immunization program.
- Evidence Brief: Risk of COVID-19 Transmission from Vaccinated Cases (Public Health Ontario): Summary document reviewing evidence on the risk of transmission from vaccinated cases of COVID-19, as well as jurisdictional guidance on the management of fully vaccinated cases.
- Ontario Makes COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Mandatory for High-Risk Settings (Government of Ontario): Provincial news release announcing mandatory vaccine policy for high-risk settings, including post-secondary institutions.
- Postsecondary Education Health Measures Framework for Fall 2021 (Ministry of Colleges and Universities): Framework that provides guidance to the post-secondary sector to support health and safety of students, faculty and staff for all on-campus and in-person activities.
- Q&A for Health Care Providers on Mixed COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Schedules (Ministry of Health): Webpage providing basic information on the rationale and process of mixed COVID-19 mRNA vaccine schedules.
- Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 Vaccines (National Advisory Committee on Immunization): Comprehensive review document providing NACI’s independent advice and recommendations, are based upon the best current available scientific knowledge, on the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process (World Health Organization): Chart summarizing the WHO Emergency Use List for approved and pending COVID-19 vaccines.
- Vaccines for COVID-19 (Public Health Agency of Canada): Webpage summarizing the review of authorized COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.
- What being vaccinated against COVID-19 means for me (Poster) (Public Health Agency of Canada): Poster outlining public health advice for partially and fully vaccinated individuals.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Employers (Toronto Public Health): Webpage providing COVID-19 vaccine information for employers.
Download this information as a PDF.
Also read a letter to post-secondary institutions on optimizing COVID-19 vaccine coverage in post-secondary institutions and congregate student living settings.