As people return to campuses across our region, we want to ensure all post-secondary students have the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines are our most important defence against the virus to ensure both students and staff can get back to working, studying and socializing on campus and in person during the academic year ahead.
Vaccination against COVID-19 is not mandatory to attend classes in person, however, students living in on-campus housing will require proof of vaccination, and accessing some non-essential services on campus will also require proof of vaccination. This applies to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to gyms, nightclubs, restaurants and indoor events such as club meetings, sporting events and concerts.
In Canada, COVID-19 vaccinations are free. Currently, the vaccines administered in B.C. include Pfizer and Moderna. Both offer significant protection against COVID-19 and were found to be both safe and effective by Health Canada. To keep you, your friends, fellow students and staff members safe, we strongly advise you to take the opportunity to get vaccinated as you plan your return to campus.
If you are unvaccinated or have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not
approved for use by Health Canada, you may be required to receive a vaccine once you arrive in B.C. Visit
www.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated for more information.
Students are welcome to attend their nearest VCH vaccination clinic for both first and second doses. No appointments are needed - drop in to your nearest clinic with a photo ID. You can find a list of vaccination clinics on our COVID-19 vaccines page.
We know students may have questions about the vaccines and how to get vaccinated in B.C. Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section below for further information. If you have further questions, visit your institution's student health services, speak to your family doctor or to a physician at a walk-in clinic.
With a high rate of vaccination in the campus community, Public Health restrictions that limit activities can be eased. By getting vaccinated, you will give yourself, your friends, and your classmates the best chance of a school year that is not interrupted by self-isolation or the closure of services and activities. Getting vaccinated is also your best line of defence against severe illness and hospitalization and protects not just you, but also those around you, including the elderly, those who cannot get vaccinated, and people with health complications that put them at higher risk.
You are not required to have a personal health number or a B.C. Services card to get vaccinated. The vaccines are free and available to everyone who lives or goes to school in Canada. When attending a vaccination clinic, please bring a form of photo ID, and wear a short-sleeved shirt. For modesty, you can ask for a private location to get your shot. You can expect to be at the clinic for 30 to 45 minutes in total.
You are welcome to drop in to any COVID-19 vaccination clinic. You can find a list of locations by visiting the
COVID-19 vaccines page of the Vancouver Coastal Health website. All clinics welcome walk-ins for both the first and second dose — you don’t need to book an appointment ahead of time.
For the vast majority of people, the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh any risks associated with the approved vaccines. There are very few people who are advised against getting immunized against COVID-19. They include those with an anaphylactic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine or a vaccine component. If you have an existing health condition and have questions about whether you should get vaccinated, please speak to your institution’s student health services, consult with your family physician or visit a walk-in clinic.
When you arrive at the vaccination centre, staff will register you in the
Get Vaccinated provincial registration system. Once eligible for your second dose, you will receive an email or text notification to attend a clinic for your second dose.
Starting Sept. 13, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required in B.C. for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events, including some non-essential services on campus. This will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to gyms, nightclubs, restaurants and a variety of indoor events, such as sporting events and concerts. By Oct. 24, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated (at least seven days after receiving both doses). Students who live in on-campus housing will also require proof of vaccination.
At VCH vaccination clinics, your immunizer will provide you with a paper record of immunization; please retain it as proof of vaccination. A digital record is also available on
Health Gateway. You can sign up to this platform and download a digital copy of your COVID-19 immunization record.
If you got one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in another province or country, you are advised to register with the
Get Vaccinated provincial registration system and submit proof of an official immunization record. It will be entered into the Provincial Immunization Registry for B.C.
Both domestic and international students who have just arrived in B.C. are welcome to attend any COVID-19 vaccination clinic and get vaccinated free of charge. Some post-secondary schools will be hosting pop-up vaccination clinics during the first weeks of classes, or students can attend one of our mass clinic sites located on or near major transportation corridors. Find an up-to-date list of clinics on the COVID-19 vaccines page of the Vancouver Coastal Health website.
In B.C., people 12 and older must wear masks in all indoor public spaces to help slow the transmission of COVID-19. These settings include:
malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores;
liquor and drug stores;
airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
restaurants, pubs and bars (unless seated);
on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided;
common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity; and
common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations.
The mask order applies in all indoor public areas on campus including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs.