According to a notice sent to students on Oct. 7, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s September vaccination status survey found that of the 49 per cent of students who responded, 88 per cent self-reported that they were fully vaccinated, six per cent expressed wanting to be fully vaccinated by the end of the year, and “just under 4 per cent” self-reported that they do not plan on getting the vaccine.
Among KPU employees, 94 per cent reported being fully vaccinated, with another one per cent planning to be fully vaccinated by the end of the year, and two per cent reporting that they do not plan to get vaccinated in 2021.
The message, which was also delivered as a video from KPU president Alan Davis, highlighted that as of Sept. 24, the province reported that unvaccinated people were 26 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated, after factoring for age. By Oct. 8, the province reported that unvaccinated people were 58 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 53 times more likely to die than those who received both doses of the vaccine.
KPU has been following the guidelines set out by the British Columbia Provincial Health Office, which mandates that masks must be worn in all public indoor areas, proof of vaccination is required to live in on-campus housing, and that students participating in health science programs must be fully immunized to participate in student practicums and clinical placements in long-term care or extended care facilities.
Universities in B.C. have all developed their own communicable disease prevention plans under the guidance of WorkSafeBC, which allow them to implement and enforce vaccine policies beyond the PHO guidelines.
Davis added that KPU is working “to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission this fall through a variety of controls” including proof-of-vaccine requirements for non-essential activities like gym visits,and maintaining blended learning and continuing remote work arrangements for students.