Student Placement FAQ: COVID-19 Vaccination

Which vaccines are accepted by St. Joseph’s?

A full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization and Health Canada (e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series). View the COVID-19 Vaccination Information Sheet.

Can I participate in a clinical placement if I have a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, with regular rapid antigen testing being a requirement on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Please note, however, partially vaccinated and medically exempt students who have a COVID-19 exposure or are completing a placement in an area where there is a COVID-19 outbreak, will not be able to proceed with their placement until the exposure/outbreak is resolved.

When does the requirement for rapid antigen testing for students take effect?

September 13, 2021.

I missed the Sept. 1 (first dose) deadline. If I am willing to become vaccinated, how long after my first dose can I begin placement?

If you missed any of the required deadlines for first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, you must be fully vaccinated (14 days post second dose) to start your placement. 

Do I need to do the testing if I currently work remotely? 

Yes. The policy applies to any student of St. Joseph’s, whether they work on-site or remotely.  At any time, staff working remotely could be asked to resume in-person work, which would also impact the student.

How do students or Clinical Instructors (CIs) get a rapid antigen test?

Students who are not fully vaccinated, or have a medical exemption, need to complete their rapid antigen testing in the community (i.e. pharmacy) and must do so three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, regardless of clinic placement schedules. Compliance and reporting of rapid antigen tests are the responsibility of schools. Reporting data must be sent to St. Joseph’s Occupational Health & Safety Services by the school on a monthly basis. Please note, if schools observe non-adherence to rapid antigen testing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Student Affairs must be notified immediately that a student is no longer meeting placement requirements.

Is there any support for the cost of rapid antigen testing in the community?

Any costs associated with rapid antigen testing in the community are the sole responsibility of the student. 

Can I get the rapid testing done during my hours of clinical placement? 

No. As per the policy, students are expected to complete testing on their own time.

I only have one dose of the COVID vaccine. What do I need to do? 

Students who have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 1 and have a placement start date prior to the Oct. 22 deadline must complete rapid antigen testing until they are 14 days post their second dose. At that time, the student must provide their school with proof of their second dose, or proof of a medical reason for not receiving the second dose.  

How are students being asked to provide proof of vaccination, proof of medical exemption and/or proof of negative rapid antigen test results, and to whom?

Students must provide any relevant documentation to their school to record/monitor. Schools must communicate student aggregate data directly to Occupational Health & Safety Services on a monthly basis or otherwise notify Student Affairs immediately if a student ceases to maintain this placement requirement. Acceptable documentation for proof of vaccination is Dose Administration Receipts. Acceptable documentation for a medical exemption is a written note from a primary care provider (physician or nurse practitioner), indicating a legitimate medical exemption and the effective time period for the medical reason (i.e. severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components and who have been assessed by an allergist/immunologist to review methods for possible (re)administration of a COVID-19 vaccine; lifetime exemption). Acceptable documentation for proof of rapid antigen tests is paper or electronic confirmation of the outcome of the rapid antigen test.  

Does St. Joseph’s Occupational Health & Safety Services require monthly reports from schools if the vaccination rate for students is 100%? 

Yes. At this time, the Ontario government requires hospitals to submit monthly aggregate data on workers’ (including students) vaccination and testing status. 

If I am fully vaccinated, do I still have to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or be regularly tested for COVID?

Please refer to the Pandemic Memo Package for information about PPE, which continues to apply to all workers (employees, students) regardless of vaccination status. While only partially vaccinated and medically exempt students will be regularly tested for COVID-19, please note ALL students who have a COVID-19 exposure or completing a placement in an area where a COVID-19 outbreak case arises will also be required to have a COVID-19 test.

Can a student who chooses not to be vaccinated and does not otherwise have a documented medical exemption complete a clinical placement at St. Joseph’s.

No. St. Joseph’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires all students to be vaccinated or have a medical exemption and regular negative antigen tests to participate in clinical placements.

What “aggregate data” does the school need to send to St. Joseph’s Occupational Health & Safety Services on a monthly basis?

Please contact @email in Student Affairs for a chart summarizing the data that schools are required to send to Occupational Health & Safety Services on a monthly basis.