COVID-19 vaccine information

A woman getting a bandage after a vaccination

As we continue welcoming more students and employees to campus, we’re focused on keeping our learning settings as safe as possible while minimizing disruption.  

The Delta variant of concern is hitting communities across the country, with its increased transmissibility and disease severity. Because of this, the college’s obligation to the health and safety of its community members has come into a much sharper focus.  

We respect the expertise of the scientific community, and support the position that vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19. 

In order to protect our community, the college is implementing a revised COVID-19 Vaccination Policy effective immediately.    

George Brown’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy 

Within the revisions to the policy, the following requirements come into effect immediately: 

  • All students, employees, contractors and volunteers coming onto college premises are required to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021. (Individuals are deemed to be fully vaccinated 14 days after having received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.) 
  • In order to comply with the policy, individuals will have to have received their first dose by September 20, 2021, and their second dose by October 18, 2021, at the latest. 
  • The college will support access to vaccinations by hosting Toronto Public Health vaccination clinics on campus starting September 20, 2021
  • The college will abide by its commitments under the Ontario Human Rights Code and consider accommodation requests based on medical and/or religious/creed grounds. 

Specific students will be required to show proof of full vaccination as of October 2. They include:  

  • Students participating in varsity athletics (on or off college premises),  
  • Students participating in in-person work-integrated learning activities and or placements (virtual placements are excluded), and  
  • Students living at George Brown’s residence, The George. 

We encourage everyone in the George Brown College community, even those who are not currently on campus, to be get vaccinated by October 18, 2021, to ensure uninterrupted study and work, and to safeguard our community.  

read the full vaccine policy

Watch the Vaccine Expert Panel Discussion

Providing proof of vaccination 

Vaccination verification is being administered through a secure third-party service provider called Verified by Synergy Gateway. Personal medical information is not shared with the college.   

Find more information about Verified by Synergy Gateway and George Brown’s vaccine verification process on the Vaccine Verification page

Valid proof of vaccination includes:   

  • Receipt from issuing vaccination clinic or pharmacy   
  • An electronic vaccine receipt issued by the government of Ontario or another province/jurisdiction  
  • A record of each dose of your vaccination, such as a receipt, card or confirmation from an international organization in English, or with a certified English translation  

If you received your vaccinations in Ontario, you can download your vaccine receipts at covid19.ontario.ca. International students who need help in obtaining their official vaccination documents can contact the International Centre for assistance. 

Where you can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Toronto Public Health clinics 

We've partnered with Toronto Public Health to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics on campus. These clinics are available to registered students and employees who can show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test administered with 72 hours of entry to campus.   

Find full details about gaining entry to our campuses on the Accessing Campus page.  

The clinics start September 20. They are walk-in only — no appointment is necessary — and will be offering both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  

Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  
Waterfront Campus  
51 Dockside Dr., room 610  

Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  
St. James Campus  
290 Adelaide St. E., room 129  

Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  
Casa Loma Campus  
1 Dartnell Ave., building D, room 216 

Other vaccination clinics 

Ontarians born in 2009 and earlier are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are widely available across Ontario. You can book an appointment at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy FAQS 

Where can I view the vaccination policy? 

The vaccination policy can be viewed online here.

 How long will the vaccination policy be in effect? 

The policy will be in effect until further notice, and subject to review every six months, or earlier if required in order to adhere to emerging public health and government directives. 

Why is George Brown making COVID-19 vaccinations a condition of being on campus in fall 2021?

We are committed to maintaining safe learning, working and living environments for all members of the college community. In order to protect our community, we have implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy for students, employees and visitors accessing campus.   

The policy states, which states that full vaccination is required for everyone coming to campus as of November 1, 2021, follows instructions and guidance from the scientific community and government, and we are confident with that direction. 

My program is fully online in the Fall and I do not need to come to campus. Do I need to be vaccinated? 

We strongly encourage all members of the college community to get vaccinated. However, George Brown College’s vaccination policy only applies to those who are accessing the college premises for in-person teaching, learning activities, work requirements or as a visitor. 

How will my personal health information be protected?

The collection of personal information within the scope of this policy is authorized by section 2 of the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act. The college will use the information it collects to control entry to college premises and for related health and safety purposes and will store it securely and in accordance with the freedom of information and protection of privacy act.   

Vaccination verification is being administered through a secure third-party service provider –called Verified by Synergy Gateway. Personal medical information is not shared with the college.   

Find more information about Verified by Synergy Gateway and George Brown’s vaccine verification process on the Vaccine Verification page. 

Isn't requiring a vaccination a violation of human rights? Can the college really do this? 

The Ontario Human Rights Code has developed a series of questions and answers for understanding your human rights and obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find more details on rights and responsibilities on the Ontario Human Rights Commission website.  

We strongly encourage you to read the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s recent policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates, issued on September 22.

If George Brown's vaccine policy isn't legislated, how can the college make vaccinations mandatory?

The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Policy Statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates indicates that: 
  
While receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains voluntary, the OHRC takes the position that mandating and requiring proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code (Code) as long as protections are put in place to make sure people who are unable to be vaccinated for Code-related reasons are reasonably accommodated. This applies to all organizations.  
Upholding individual human rights while trying to collectively protect the general public has been a challenge throughout the pandemic. Organizations must attempt to balance the rights of people who have not been vaccinated due to a Code-protected ground, such as disability, while ensuring individual and collective rights to health and safety. 

A policy is not law so how can the college enforce the vaccine policy? 

The college is not enforcing a law. The college is enforcing a policy created to safeguard students and employees from harm. The policy, among other college policies, is a rule of engagement for students and employees. Individuals have a right to choose not to receive the vaccine, however choosing not to do so will have consequences.

How is the college going to enforce this? 

Verification of vaccination will be required at the entry points to campus premises. Falsification of verifications, or presentation of associated fraudulent documentation could result in disciplinary action under the college’s codes of conduct.  

Find more information about Verified by Synergy Gateway and George Brown’s vaccine verification process on the Vaccine Verification page.

What if I don't want to get vaccinated and I don't qualify for exemption?

Registered students must show proof of full vaccination to gain access to our campuses by November 1, 2021. If you do not show proof of vaccination by that time, and you are not eligible for an exemption, you may need to withdraw from your program.  

Full-time students registered for the Fall 2021 semester have until September 20 to withdraw from their program with a partial refund. If you are unable to withdraw by the September 20 deadline, you will need to appeal to be considered for a refund.  

Appeals are only considered for extenuating circumstances and supporting documentation to demonstrate proof of circumstance is required. To submit an appeal for late withdrawal, you will need to complete the Appeal for Late Withdrawal Form which is available by emailing regappeal@georgebrown.ca. Your appeal may be submitted within three (3) months from the end of the term appealed. Requests from previous terms will be considered on an individual basis. Allow 4 to 6 weeks from the receipt date for a response on your appeal. Appeals must be submitted to the Registration Office.  

Domestic Students, if you need to withdraw from your program please withdraw via STU-VIEW and select “Vaccination Policy” in the drop-down box as the reason for the withdrawal. 

International Students, please submit the GBC INTL Withdrawal/Refund Request Form found here: georgebrown.ca/international/accepted-students/withdrawal-and-refund-policy 

Domestic students, please note that withdrawing from your program will affect your OSAP.  

 

Vaccine information

If I have had COVID-19 how long do I have to wait before getting vaccinated?

Information about this is available on the City of Toronto’s COVID-19: About the Vaccines webpage.
 
People who have had COVID-19 in the past should still get vaccinated. Natural immunity from having COVID-19 may not last long and may not protect against COVID-19 variants. Get vaccinated to stay protected.
 
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, should not go to a vaccine clinic. Please wait at least 10 days until you are no longer in self-isolation or your symptoms have gone away.

How long do COVID-19 vaccines last?

For the general population, two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine provides strong protection against severe illness and hospitalization. This includes protection against the Delta variant of concern. Research shows that certain people with low immune response can benefit from a third dose. The Ministry of Health has COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose Recommendations for select populations who have an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. Recommendations for boosters/third doses may evolve as evidence on COVID-19 vaccines evolve.

What if I already have COVID-19 antibodies?

The college requires full vaccination in order to access campus. Having had COVID-19 does not provide medical grounds for an exemption.


Vaccination status

What does fully vaccinated mean? What vaccines will George Brown accept? 

As defined by the provincial government, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series.   
 
The Government of Canada has currently authorized four COVID-19 vaccines for use in Canada: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer-BioNTech.

International students may have accessed additional vaccines evaluated by the World Health that met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy, including Sinopharm, Sinovac, and others. On September 22, 2021, the provincial government of Ontario updated legislation indicating that these vaccines are no longer accepted, and as such do not meet the criteria under George Brown’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. To that end, for individuals who have not had a full series of government-authorized vaccines as listed above, additional vaccinations may be required in order to be considered fully vaccinated.

International students who need help obtaining their official vaccination documents can contact the International Centre for assistance.

I received one or both of my COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario. How can I find a record of my vaccination?

In Ontario, you can download your vaccination receipt from the province’s COVID-19 website. In other provinces and countries, please check with your local health authorities for more information. 

I was vaccinated outside of Canada. How do I show proof? 

If you received your vaccinations outside of Canada, George Brown College accepts the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines that have been evaluated by the World Health Organization to meet the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy. 

To show proof of your vaccination through Verified by Synergy Gateway, the secure third-party platform George Brown College is using, you must provide official vaccine documents that are transcribed in English that contain the following: 

  • Your name 
  • Vaccination date 
  • Vaccine name 
  • Dose number 

International students who need help in obtaining their official vaccination documents can contact the International Centre for assistance. 

Contact the International Centre 

I have not been vaccinated but would like to be. What do I do? 

Toronto Public Health clinics on campus 

We’re partnering with Toronto Public Health to provide on-campus vaccination clinics at Casa Loma, St. James and Waterfront campuses starting on Monday, September 20. These clinics are available to registered students and employees who can show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test administered with 72 hours of entry to campus.   

Find full details about gaining entry to our campuses on the Accessing Campus page.  

The clinics are walk-in only — no appointment is necessary — and will be offering both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  

The Toronto Public Health clinics run at the following times and locations starting September 20:  

  • Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  
    Waterfront Campus  
    51 Dockside Dr., room 610  
     
  • Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  
    St. James Campus  
    290 Adelaide St. E., room 129  
     
  • Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  
    Casa Loma Campus  
    1 Dartnell Ave., building D, room 216 

Other ways to get vaccinated 

Vaccines are widely available across Ontario.  

You can also book a vaccine in Ontario by visiting covid-19.Ontario.Ca/book-vaccine and following the steps. 


Accessing campus

How do I access campus before November 1, when proof of vaccination is required?

George Brown College’s vaccination policy states that as of November 1 everyone visiting campus will be required to show proof that they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Until October 31, students and employees coming to campus must do the following: 

  • Show proof of full vaccination or a negative rapid test taken within 72 hours of entry to campus buildings. 
  • If you do not show proof of vaccination, you will be required to complete training about the benefits of vaccination. You must also sign an attestation that you completed the vaccination training. Both the training and the attestation need only be completed once. 

Visit the Vaccine Verification page for more information.

How do I show proof that I'm fully vaccinated?

Visit the Vaccine Verification page for more information.

If I am fully vaccinated, do I still need to complete the active daily health screening each time I come to campus? 

Yes. This is a requirement by Toronto Public Health, and active screening will continue. 

Screening needs to be done every time you come to campus.  You can find the screening at www.georgebrown.ca/screen.  

Do I need to be vaccinated if I am picking up something from campus and staying outside (e.g., purchases from the Bookstore)? 

You do not need to be vaccinated if you are staying outside for curb-side pick-up, though we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your community. 

Will masks and physical distancing still be required on campus?

Yes. Everyone on campus must wear all required personal protective equipment (PPE). Masks must be worn everywhere on campus unless you are in a designated eating area. Eye protection is also required in closed spaces such as classrooms, labs, clinics, shops and offices, or when working in close contact with another individual in an open space. Disposable three-layer masks and face shields are distributed at campus entrances for anyone who needs one.  

We require physical distancing of at least 6 feet or 2 metres in college buildings. When 6 feet or 2 metres of physical distance can’t be achieved (in labs, clinics and other smaller spaces) enhanced PPE (including eye protection) is mandatory.   

Plexiglass barriers are also in place in various areas around campus. 

For more information please visit our Health and Safety on Campus page


Accessing campus - rapid testing

Does George Brown offer rapid COVID-19 testing?  

Yes, the college is offering COVID-19 rapid testing. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo rapid testing in order to temporarily be allowed to access campus. 

The testing is managed by Global Health Solutions, an external antigen testing service company. They provide Point-Of-Care Testing (POCT) which generates results in just 15 minutes. The process uses a shallow nasal swab, which will be inserted into the front part of the nostrils. It should be less uncomfortable than the PCR COVID-19 tests used at assessment centres. 

You can book an appointment for a test at: www.georgebrown.ca/rapid

Rapid test results are valid for 72 hours. Therefore, it is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that they have received a valid negative rapid test result prior to entry to the college premises. 

Rapid testing hours + locations

If I have only had one vaccination and I need to come to campus before November 1, do I need a rapid test as well? 

Yes. On November 1 and thereafter you will need to be fully vaccinated in order to access campus. 

Will George Brown continue to pay for rapid testing?

As of November 1, rapid testing will not be generally available for employees and students on campus. The college will also not accept rapid test results as a way to gain access to college buildings, unless an individual has an approved accommodation. Our policy requires fully vaccination to enter college buildings, as of November 1. Individuals who do not show proof of full vaccination will not be permitted to enter the college until they are fully vaccinated. 

Those with approved accommodations under the Vaccination Policy, will be permitted to enter the college with results from a rapid antigen test that has been administered no more than 72 hours prior to entry to campus.  

Shouldn't everyone get rapid tests since both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can transmit COVID-19?

The college is following the science, which shows that vaccination is the best prevention against the spread of COVID-19. By having all individuals on campus fully vaccinated, this risk is reduced significantly.

Can I take a rapid test when I arrive on-campus, or do I need to complete a test before coming to campus?

Tests will be available on campus, until October 31, 2021. However, we encourage individuals to get tested in alternate locations to avoid any delays upon entry to the college. Note that the rapid test result must be valid within 72 hours of the time of entry to the college.  

To book an appointment for a rapid test at George Brown, please visit georgebrown.ca/rapid.

How frequently do I need to take a rapid test to gain entry to campus?

A rapid test is valid if it’s administered 72 hours before entry. For example, if a student takes a rapid test on Tuesday at 10 AM (and gets a negative result), they can use that same test to access the college until Friday at 10 AM. But, if that student arrives on campus on Friday after 10 AM, they will need to take another rapid test. 

Please note: Starting November 1, 2021 you cannot gain access to campus with a negative rapid test and you must be fully vaccinated.


Campus visitors (contractors, members of the public)

How do contractors confirm their vaccination status?

Until October 31, 2021, contractors can only enter college premises if they present proof of full vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result based on an approved test administered by the college or another test provider 72 hours before entry. Rapid antigen tests qualify. Proof of vaccination includes a screen shot or PDF of the provincially issued vaccination certificate or the provincial proof of COVID-19 vaccination QR code when it becomes available. 

November 1, 2021, and onward

Effective November 1, contractors will only be granted access to campus if they have provided proof of full vaccination to their employer.

Employees are entitled to be accommodated under the Human Rights Code. Regarding accommodation, the college will permit entry to those employees who have been granted accommodation by their employer. These employees will need to be identified to the college and will also be required to submit evidence of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test that has been administered no more than 72 hours prior to entry. The college will not be providing such testing to contractors.

Find details on the Vaccine Verification page

How do visitors and members of the public access George Brown campuses?

Visitors (e.g., delivery people) and members of the public coming to campus to access the college's retail enterprises, outlets, or service operations must show proof of full vaccination or a verified medical exemption (documentation from a physician or registered nurse).  

Proof of vaccination includes a screen shot or PDF of your provincially issued vaccination certificate, or the provincial proof of COVID-19 vaccination QR code when it becomes available.  

Proof of vaccination is required for members of the public accessing the following college services: 

  • Chef on the Run 
  • Spa services offered by the School of Makeup and Esthetics 

Find details about these services, including locations and hours of operation, on the Services for the Public page


Residence, varsity athletics and work-integrated learning

If I’ve already signed an attestation (related to The George residence or varsity athletics) do I still need to provide proof of vaccination? 

Yes. 

I will be living in residence, but my courses will be online. Do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes. We require full vaccination for those living in residence at The George. 

What if I’m a student on a work-integrated learning placement? 

Students participating in in-person work-integrated learning and/or placements (virtual placements are excluded), as well as students living in residence, or involved in varsity athletics (on or off college premises) must show verification of full vaccination. 


International students

I am an international student and have questions about COVID-19 vaccines and travel to Canada. Who do I contact? 

Please visit our International Students Traveling to Canada page for more information.  

As an international student, can I get vaccinated when I arrive in Ontario? 

Yes. George Brown College is hosting vaccination clinics throughout the fall semester. Find details above on this page.

You can also book appointments online with the province at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or through their local (Toronto) health unit. 

I am an international student who just arrived in Ontario, and I have yet to be vaccinated. Can I study on campus? 

Per our policy, all students, including international students, are required to be fully vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 rapid test administered within 72 hours of entry (or have such a test performed on site and have a negative result) until October 31. As of November 1, all students must show proof of full vaccination to access campus.   

Learn more on the Vaccine Verification page

See the FAQ above, I have not been vaccinated but would like to be. What do I do for details about on campus vaccine clinics. 

You can find vaccine clinics across Ontario at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.

I'm a fully vaccinated and not required to quarantine when I arrive in Canada. Am I able to access college buildings right away?

George Brown College is guided by the protocols set by the government of Canada. As such, if you have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days AND you have NOT been advised to quarantine per the federal quarantine requirements, you are welcome on our campuses if you follow our vaccine policy. 

To gain access to campus you must do one of the following until October 31: 

  1. Provide verification of full vaccination (students and employees only, or    
  1. Provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 rapid test administered within 72 hours of entry, or have such a test performed on site, and receive a negative result. Book your campus rapid test in advance

As of November 1, you will need to show proof of full vaccination to access college campuses. 

Learn more on the Vaccine Verification page.  


Employees 

My manager has confirmed I will be working from home until January. Can I wait until I am scheduled to return to campus to provide my proof of vaccination? 

We are strongly encouraging all employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible. There may be the occasion where operational changes may result in some employees being called back to campus prior to January.  

(NEW) What if I’m a college employee working at an off-site location where I oversee student clinical work? Does the policy apply to me?

Yes. This policy applies to all facilities and premises owned by, or contracted for use by, George Brown College, or where George Brown College programming is delivered, referred to as “college premises.”


Accommodations and exemptions 

I require a creed/religion-based accommodation. What steps do I take?

The college will accommodate individuals based on medical or religious/creed grounds in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.   

People requesting a religious/creed exemption from the college’s vaccine policy must complete and submit George Brown College’s Vaccine Exemption form

A response can be expected within five business days.

I want to request a medical accommodation. What steps do I take? 

When you log in to the Verified by Synergy Gateway platform, follow the steps to download the form for a medical exemption.  

A response can be expected within five business days.  

Please visit the Vaccine Verification page for more information and  Synergy Gateway’s online help desk with questions. 

How can I get an accommodation that’s not related to medical or religious/creed grounds?

Please note: accommodations will be considered within the scope of the policy. The policy only allows for accommodations on the grounds stated in the section “accommodations.” This means that if someone doesn’t want to get vaccinated (for other/personal reasons), then an accommodation will not be granted. 

If you will not be on campus during the fall semester, verification of vaccination is not required.