UBC launches COVID-19 vaccine declaration form

Update on September 28 at 2:41 p.m.: Community members can now upload an image of their BC vaccine card to prove their vaccination status on this website.

Students, staff and faculty are now able to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status to UBC.

UBC’s new system, announced two weeks ago, requires rapid testing for students, staff and faculty who are unvaccinated. Today, community members can confidentially declare their vaccination status in order to be exempt from rapid testing.

“This information will be used to determine whether you are required to participate in UBC’s COVID-19 rapid testing program or are eligible for an exemption,” the web page reads.

Those who say they are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or choose not to disclose their vaccination status will have to undergo “regular” rapid testing — although the university has not yet made it clear how regular that testing will be.

While this step is simply a self-disclosure, Ono noted that people will be contacted soon to “provide verification of vaccination.” How soon was not indicated on the web page.

“After that, audits will be conducted as part of the program, and students, faculty and staff may need to provide additional information if requested,” Ono wrote in a broadcast email sent out over the weekend.

The form — linked on the web page — indicates disciplinary action for those who don’t declare their vaccination status or comply with the rapid testing program.

“Failure to complete this declaration and to comply with the requirements of this program may constitute misconduct that may result in serious consequences,” the form read. “For students, these consequences may include discipline under the student non-academic misconduct process, loss of the ability to access UBC services or premises, or the loss of other privileges.”

Data collected through this disclosure program is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, but UBC wrote in the form that it will be used to determine if community members have to undergo rapid testing and to track overall vaccination status of the community.

A paper copy of the form is also available on the web page.

The testing and vaccine disclosure requirements were developed after widespread dissatisfaction with UBC and the province’s early refusal to mandate vaccines. The province mandated vaccines in residence along with the announcement of the BC Vaccine Card on August 24. UBC first announced vaccine disclosure and rapid testing requirements on August 26.

UBC has not instituted a full vaccine mandate of all students, faculty and staff, and the provincial health office has rejected that idea. Instead, UBC is strongly recommending everyone be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Please note that COVID-19 rapid testing is not considered a substitute for vaccination. We strongly encourage all eligible students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated,” the web page reads.