This fall marks the transition back to in-person, on-campus learning for most Ontario post-secondary institutions. To enable the safest return to campus for staff, students and faculty of post-secondary education institutions and student residences, Toronto Public Health (TPH) and local health partners are working towards achieving the highest possible vaccination rates as quickly as possible. As part of this effort, TPH is kicking off a #VaxTOCampus campaign today to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake in post-secondary settings.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, TPH has worked closely with community partners, including post-secondary institutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes promoting equitable, barrier-free access to vaccination and clear evidence-based information to staff, faculty, and students on and off campus. When activities resume across Toronto campuses this fall, post-secondary institutions and TPH will work together to ensure effective public health measures are in place. In the meantime, TPH continues to remind everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible and before returning back to campus, in order to help keep the community safe and healthy.
TPH also supports post-secondary institutions developing vaccination policies and working to increase rates of vaccination among staff, students, and faculty. A vaccination policy is an important measure that post-secondary institutions can implement to protect their community. The policy should explain its purpose, who it applies to and the risks of COVID-19. When necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, vaccination policies should require staff and students to provide proof of vaccination, with vaccines approved by Health Canada, or the World Health Organization.
In addition, post-secondary institutions should continue to have in place health and workplace safety measures aligned with public health advice. This includes masking, COVID-19 screening, handwashing and cleaning protocols. TPH will also host webinars for this community, to learn about the benefits of vaccination from a medical expert and to provide a forum for attendees to ask questions.
Vaccination is a key public health measure to reduce community spread of COVID-19. As COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto, receiving two doses of the vaccine provides residents with optimal protection against the virus, predominately the Delta variant. This is why Toronto residents are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible for the best protection. Getting vaccinated will help protect residents from severe illness and outcomes, and protect those who are unable to be vaccinated, including individuals who are immunocompromised and children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.
More information about COVID-19 vaccines and how to get vaccinated is available on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19:Vaccines webpage.
“We want people to get vaccinated as soon as possible across our city including at all the campuses across Toronto. We are committed to working with all of Toronto’s post-secondary institutions to make sure back to school is as safe as possible this fall. The vaccines are the best way to protect everyone on campus. I want to thank Toronto Public Health for launching #VaxTOCampus to help people get vaccinated and I continue to urge people, if they haven’t already, to get vaccinated.”
– Mayor John Tory
“This is an exciting time of year as students across the city get ready to return to campus. As post-secondary institutions prepare to welcome students back this fall, I encourage all members of the post-secondary community in our city to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Being fully vaccinated gives us the best protection against COVID-19 and its more transmissible variants, and allows us to get back to the campus activities we have missed as safely as possible.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“Vaccines are our best defense against the Delta variant and a fourth wave. That’s why it’s critical that everyone across our city can quickly and easily get vaccinated. The #VaxTOCampus campaign supports increasing vaccinations for students, faculty, and staff at our post-secondary institutions, so that these environments can be as safe as possible for everyone this fall.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.