Updated October 6, 2021 FAQs about UM's vaccine requirement

Please continue to monitor this page for updated FAQs. Information related to medical exemptions, proof of vaccination and accepted vaccines is still being determined. If you have further questions that are not answered here please email safereturn@umanitoba.ca.

Vaccine requirement

How do I provide proof of vaccination?

To attest to be being fully vaccinated and submit proof, complete the proof of vaccination form. Please follow the step-by-step instructions provided on the web form. You will be asked to upload proof of your vaccination, as follows: 

  • UM requires proof of vaccination. To provide proof, upload an image of your QR code from your Manitoba Digital Immunization Card (or physical card). For those unable to get a Manitoba digital or physical immunization card, upload an image or a file of your record of vaccination. 
  • Upload one file only.  
  • Acceptable file formats are jpg, jpeg, png and pdf.  
  • The maximum file size for uploading is 6 MB. 
  • Your information will be verified and you will only be contacted if we require further information.

When uploading a photo of my vaccination card do I upload the front or back of the card?

Please upload the QR code portion of your vaccination card.

Who is included in the employee group and required to submit proof of vaccination?

The UM employee group includes individuals such as faculty, librarians, instructors, administrators, staff, other academics, research associates/assistants, postdoctoral fellows, nil-salaried professors, senior scholars and professor emeriti. If you received an email to complete the form; please complete it.

Why do I have to provide proof of my COVID-19 vaccination?

Your vaccination status is being verified under the authority of The University of Manitoba Act and will be used for the purpose of addressing the ongoing health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. We have taken all necessary steps to ensure we protect your privacy. Other than your name, the QR code contains no personal health information or data. It is critical that all students and staff complete the Proof of Vaccination form when they are fully vaccinated.  Those who do not complete the form will be considered unvaccinated. 

When do I have to provide my proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

Submit your proof of vaccination form as soon as you have received proof that you are fully vaccinated.  You can apply for your digital or printed card two weeks from the date of the final dose.  To receive your proof of vaccination record please visit the province’s immunization cards and immunization records page.

If I am unvaccinated, can I come to campus to work and learn?

Staff and students who are not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated are required to undergo frequent rapid asymptomatic testing and abide by enhanced restrictions.

Effective September 14, all individuals entering the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences on Bannatyne campus and the Helen Glass Building on Fort Garry campus will have their vaccination status visually verified at approved access points. Those unable to provide Manitoba vaccination QR or cards as proof will receive on-site rapid testing.

Effective September 22, all staff and students entering Fort Garry campus for in-person work or learning and who are not fully vaccinated will need to undergo COVID-19 asymptomatic rapid testing. The Fort Garry campus rapid testing site is located in the Fitzgerald Building, 55 Chancellor’s Circle (rooms 303 and 304). The hours of operation would be 7am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Test results will be valid for 72 hours (48 hours for College of Nursing).

Staff and students who are to be on the Fort Garry campus after hours need to come to the testing site during testing site hours to pick up testing kits to self-test before coming onto campus and be cleared to be on campus by emailing UofM.rapidtesting@umanitoba.ca. Alternatively, they can attend in-person during testing site hours to be tested.

View the COVID-19 rapid testing site map here.

Where can I go to get fully vaccinated?

Vaccination Clinic at Fort Garry Campus:
Open to all members of the UM community
Wednesday, October 6 from 9:30 am -3:30 pm
Location: Curry Place Pedway

The Manitoba COVID-19 Vaccine Shot Finder is an online service where the public can search for locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine in their area. There are locations across the city and province, including 28 clinics/pharmacies that offer the COVID-19 vaccine within a 5 km radius of the William Norrie Centre (485 Selkirk Avenue). For more information, visit the website.

University Health Service is currently offering both Moderna and Pfizer to the general public by appointment only by calling 204-474-8411, Monday to Friday, 8:30am-3:45pm. For more information, visit the University Health Service webpage.

Who must be vaccinated to come to UM campuses?

The University of Manitoba will require faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in accordance with the announced schedule (see deadlines question).

Effective Friday, Sept. 3, in accordance with public health restrictions, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status and government-issued identification is required at entry to UM sport and recreational facilities. Find more info here.

Why is UM requiring full vaccination of staff, faculty, students and visitors?

To ensure our campuses are as safe as possible for our UM community and to allow us to return to as much in-person activity as we can, as quickly and safely as we can. We know our students thrive when learning in-person and through in-person activities outside of the classroom that enrich the student experience. We also want to provide a safe environment for our employees who are returning to work.

Do I need to provide proof of vaccination status if I am not coming to campus?

Yes. All employees and students must provide proof of vaccination regardless of their intention to attend to in-person activities on our campuses.  

I previously tested positive for COVID-19. Am I still required to be fully vaccinated?

Experts agree the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, so individuals who have had - or suspected to have had - COVID-19 in the past are still required to be fully vaccinated.

There is no set length of time you have to wait between when you have COVID-19 and when you can get vaccinated. As long as your symptoms are resolved and you have finished isolating, you can get the vaccine. Individuals who get COVID-19 after their first dose can receive their second doses as long as they are recovered and 28 days have passed since their first dose.

For more information about the vaccine, visit the Province of Manitoba's Q-and-As.

What  proof of vaccination is acceptable? (See scenarios with and without a Manitoba health card.)

I hold a Manitoba Health card, how do I provide proof? 

In Manitoba, if you hold a Manitoba health card and are fully vaccinated, two weeks following your final vaccination you may apply for the Manitoba Digital Immunization Card (or the physical card), which shows a QR code. Upon application you will immediate receive your QR code by email and your physical immunization card will be sent to you in the mail.  Your QR code is acceptable proof. Please visit the Manitoba COVID-19 Vaccine website for additional information.
  

For non-Manitoba residents or those without Manitoba health cards:

I live in Manitoba but do not have a Manitoba health card, what form of proof of vaccination is acceptable?  

Individuals who do not have a Manitoba health card can now request a Manitoba immunization card if they meet specific requirements. Individuals can call 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222) to speak with an agent, who will provide a client identification number for the digital version of the card. The agent can also request a physical card on behalf of callers. 

I was vaccinated in another province/territory, how do I get my immunization card or record?  

Please visit the Manitoba COVID-19 Vaccine website for information on this topic. 

I was vaccinated outside of Canada, how do I get my immunization card or record?

Please visit the Manitoba COVID-19 Vaccine website for information on this topic. 

 

Do I need to verify the vaccination of faculty, staff or students?

No. Instructors, frontline staff or administrators should NOT confirm the vaccination status of their students or employees. The management of vaccination information will be maintained centrally and controlled in accordance with applicable access to information and protection of privacy legislation.

There will be some circumstances where frontline staff will be verifying vaccination on the spot, such as at fitness and sporting facilities on our campuses; Bison events and other in-person UM events. Verification will would be conducted in accordance with the provincial health orders, and privacy legislation and UM vaccine verification and QR scanning protocols.

What are the vaccine verification and QR code scanning protocols at UM? How do I set up a vaccine verification process?

If you are required to or are planning to verify vaccine status at the entry point of an event or service, the following information will be of assistance in setting up the vaccine verification process. Please see the pdf document Vaccine Verification and QR Code Scanning for full information.

What if I don't feel safe coming to campus even though I'm vaccinated?

Ensuring the health and safety of our entire community is our top priority. While some post-secondary institutions in other provinces are opening more fully this fall, UM remains committed to our approach of a phased reopening plan with reduced capacity on campus.

There are many safety measures in place to provide a safe campus experience for all. While on campus, individuals are required to wear a 3-ply disposable or reusable mask at all times while indoors and while outdoors where two-metre distancing cannot be maintained. Two metres distancing is required at all times, indoors and outdoors.

UM will continue to support students, staff and faculty by offering vaccination clinics on our campuses to those who have not yet received their vaccines.

Some Indigenous people have a distrust of institutions, and have chosen to not get vaccinated. This vaccine mandate could be seen as a barrier to Indigenous peoples’ education.

This is an understandable concern. It is also important to note that Indigenous communities are often more negatively affected by communicable diseases, and COVID-19 is no different. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit leadership in Manitoba and at UM are strongly encouraging all citizens/members to get vaccinated. Indigenous leadership in Manitoba is supportive of the COVID-19 vaccines to protect Indigenous communities. Vaccines are safe and significantly reduce the risks of the most serious outcomes of COVID-19.

What are the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in Canada? 

For a list of authorized vaccines, please visit the Government of Canada website here.  

I received COVID-19 vaccination outside of Canada and it is not one of Canada’s authorized vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson). Am I considered by UM as fully vaccinated? 

The University of Manitoba will follow Manitoba Health's definitions of what is considered fully vaccinated.  

Who pays for asymptomatic testing?

At this time, the cost of testing will be absorbed by the UM for those unvaccinated (by choice or by approved exemption) employees and students.

What happens if am not vaccinated and fail to comply with frequent rapid asymptomatic testing and other enhanced restrictions?

Staff who are unvaccinated and do not submit to frequent rapid asymptomatic testing or are found to have submitted fraudulent documentation will be subject to discipline.   

Students who are unvaccinated and do not submit to frequent rapid asymptomatic testing will be subject to discipline in accordance with the Student Discipline By-Law. A student who is also a staff member of the University will be subject to discipline both as a student and staff.   

Visitors may be refused entry to the University.  

The University may require in-person vaccination verification to access certain University buildings, events, activities, and services.  Individuals who are unable to verify vaccination status may be refused entry.

What if my class/lab-mates are not vaccinated – can I refuse to attend class and receive my teachings by remote option?

The University is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure a safe learning environment for students. The University has put in place many measures to ensure the safety of students and staff members on campus including the use of 3-ply masking at all times while indoors and outdoors where distancing is not possible, as well as two metre physical distancing. UM heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are maintained in accordance with the requirements for building occupancy, are maintained regularly for filter and operating conditions, and provide good ventilation to our campus buildings. 

We expect to have a university-wide process established within the next few weeks to support rapid asymptomatic testing of all those students (and employees) accessing a UM campus who have not provided verification of full immunization.   

Owing to its connection to the health care system, a rapid asymptomatic testing protocol will be implemented beginning September 14 for all individuals accessing the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, including all buildings on the Bannatyne campus and the Helen Glass Building on the Fort Garry campus.   

For the Fort Garry campus and other satellite campuses, the rapid testing program will be operational very soon and details will be announced soon.   

These measures are reasonable to ensure a safe community.

What is the process to receive an approved exemption to the mandatory vaccination requirement?

The University is finalizing its process for employees and students to request an exemption. Please continue to monitor this website.

Testing

Who needs to receive frequent rapid asymptomatic testing for COVID-19?

Beginning September 14th All individuals who attend any in-person activities at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences (including the Helen Glass Building at Fort Garry campus) will be required to provide visual proof of full vaccination or be subject to frequent rapid asymptomatic testing.   

All employees and students of the general University community who attend any in-person activities at Fort Garry campus (other than the Nursing) will be required to engage in frequent rapid asymptomatic testing if they have not uploaded proof of vaccination.  The date for testing at Fort Garry campus is being finalized. 

Individuals who intend to request an exemption will also be required to undergo frequent rapid asymptomatic testing.

How often is testing required?

For students, staff and visitors to Rady Faculty of Health Sciences buildings, regular rapid testing is valid for 48 hours.  The frequency of testing for all other individuals accessing campus in-person is being finalized.

How will the rapid asymptomatic testing process work at Bannatyne campus and Helen Glass Building at Fort Garry campus?

On September 14th, rapid testing sites will be located at Bannatyne campus and Helen Glass Building at Fort Garry campus to facilitate in-person rapid testing upon arrival.  Testing will be available on weekdays:  

-Bannatyne campus: 5:30 am to 5:30 pm  

-Helen Glass: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm 

An anterior nasal swap test will be administered by a trained individual with results available in 15 minutes.  You will be allowed to proceed to your on-campus activity if the result is negative.  If the test result is positive, staff will refer you to provincial COVID-19 testing sites for a confirmation test.   

Please allow ample additional time to enter campus if you require regular testing.  Staff that require rapid testing should ensure they are able to get test results and be ready for work during their regularly scheduled hours.  

Anyone attending a campus where asymptomatic testing is not being offered or before/ after the testing area has closed must make arrangements through their supervisor or instructor to pick up an asymptomatic test kit and complete the test at home with a negative test result prior to coming on to campus. A training video on how to perform the test will be made available shortly. 

Supervisors and instructors can contact the following for more information on rapid testing:  

-Rady Faculty of Health Sciences:  Rady.RapidTesting@umanitoba.ca 

-All other UM units: UofM.RapidTesting@umanitoba.ca

Do I need to do rapid testing on my own time or work time?

Staff are expected to attend ready to work. If a staff member is required to submit to frequent rapid asymptomatic testing, they should ensure they have adequate time to receive test results before reporting to work at their regularly scheduled time.

What are my options if I am not vaccinated and do not want to undergo regular rapid testing?

There is no exemption from rapid asymptomatic testing or from being fully vaccinated.  The University is providing reasonable accommodation to individuals who are unvaccinated.  At this time, the University is offering asymptomatic testing for those choosing not to be vaccinated or those who have received an approved exemption.  Other approaches are not being considered at this time.

Can I choose to work from home rather than submit to rapid testing if I am unvaccinated?

No. The University has provided reasonable accommodation for those who cannot get vaccinated for human rights reasons by requiring asymptomatic testing.  Work schedule arrangements for other reasons should be discussed between staff and their manager.

Privacy

What are you doing with the information?

The information will be used to determine whether an individual is permitted to attend on campus without submitting to enhanced safety protocols such as frequent rapid asymptomatic testing.

How will my personal health information/QR code verification be handled?

Your vaccination status is being verified under the authority of The University of Manitoba Act and will be used for the purpose of addressing the ongoing health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. 

Other than your name, the QR code (physical card or digital QR code) contains no personal health information or data. When scanned, the QR code will confirm that you are fully vaccinated by displaying your name with a green screen and checkmark. The name generated on the screen is then verified with a government issued photo identification.  

Your vaccination status will only be accessed by authorized individuals and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, unless permitted by The Personal Health Information Act. If you have questions about the collection, use or disclosure of your personal or personal health information, please email the Access and Privacy Office at fippa@umanitoba.ca.

Is my personal information secure?

Yes. All proof of vaccination, requests for exemptions and supporting documents, and proof of negative asymptomatic test results will be collected, used, and stored in accordance with the University’s obligations pursuant to The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and The Personal Health Information Act. The records will be destroyed when the University no longer requires mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19. 

If you have questions about the collection, use or disclosure of your personal or personal health information, please email the Access and Privacy Office at fippa@umanitoba.ca.

Will you follow-up with me if I don’t provide proof of vaccination?

Until an individual completes the vaccination declaration form and submits proof of vaccination, they will be considered unvaccinated and subject to frequent rapid asymptomatic testing.  The University may follow-up with individuals if they are found not to be complying with either proof of vaccination or asymptomatic testing, if they are known to be attending to on-campus activities, if additional measures are required for unvaccinated individuals, or in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Will my professor/Dean/manager know whether I am vaccinated?

Information on an individual’s vaccination status is maintained centrally.  However, in limited circumstances and in accordance with applicable laws and University governing documents, the University may be required to share vaccination status for the purpose of ensuring the health and safety of those on campus, providing accommodations and investigating non-compliance with the University’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Updated August 27, 2021 FAQs about vaccines

Are vaccines safe?

Yes. All approved vaccines are safe. Health Canada reviews the safety and effectiveness of all the COVID-19 vaccines and has determined through rigorous testing that the available vaccines are all safe and effective in preventing severe outcomes and death from COVID-19.  

Can international students get vaccinated in Manitoba?

Yes, international students can book vaccination appointments immediately after arrival as long as their stay in Manitoba is at least 30 days. The vaccine will be provided at no cost and some form of government-issued ID such as a passport will have to be presented to receive the vaccine.

International students covered under the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP)  must call 1-844-626-8222 to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Unfortunately, online booking is not available for international students in Manitoba at this time.

Where do I get information about Manitoba’s vaccine rollout?

All the information you need about the vaccine rollout in Manitoba can be found on the Manitoba Health vaccine portal: https://protectmb.ca/  

When will I be eligible for the vaccine?

All people living in Manitoba over the age of 12 are now eligible for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and most are eligible for their second dose. 

Where do I register to get the vaccine?

Visit https://protectmb.ca/ to book your vaccine appointment.

Are the vaccines effective against COVID-19 variants of concern?

The variants of concern (VOCs) that have been circulating in Manitoba and around the world are serious and have shown to increase rates of infection and hospitalization in younger populations. Early evidence suggests that vaccines are effective in preventing severe outcomes due to COVID-19 VOCs.  

Are vaccines free?

Yes, all vaccines in Manitoba (and Canada) are administered free of charge.

Is getting two different COVID vaccines safe?

Yes. Not only is it safe, but it may even be more effective. Those who received the AstraZeneca as their first dose may receive either of the mRNA vaccines for their second dose; with some data noting that a stronger immune response occurs with an mRNA vaccine as the second dose after the AstraZeneca first dose. 

Also, the mRNA vaccines can be mixed, in that if your first dose was with the Pfizer vaccine, you can receive the Moderna vaccine for your second dose and vice versa. We still expect a strong immune response with mixed mRNA vaccine doses. 

The interchangeability of vaccines is nothing new and has been practiced for several decades with many existing non-COVID vaccines and is known to be safe and effective. 

Helpful vaccine videos

  • How were COVID-19 vaccines developed so quickly?

  • How do I know COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

  • How do COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work?

  • COVID-19: How vaccines are developed