July 12, 2021
University of Calgary recommends COVID-19 vaccinations
For more than 16 months, governments, universities, research organizations, industry and the public have worked together to respond to the global pandemic, which has had far-reaching negative impacts in terms of illness, death, the economy and mental health. The collaboration from the various groups has been unprecedented and the result is multiple highly effective and widely available vaccines to protect against one of the most harmful diseases this generation has experienced.
As a world-class institution focused on research and innovation, UCalgary places its trust in the science, discipline and innovation that developed the COVID-19 vaccines. Without hesitation, UCalgary — senior leaders and professors of science, health care and research portfolios — encourage our campus community members to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“These vaccines are the output of rigorous, global scientific research," says Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD, UCalgary’s president and vice-chancellor. “Innovation and science have guided my entire academic career, and I do not hesitate to support them now."
Collaboration, innovation and worldwide focus on vaccine research and development enabled the quick development of the COVID-19 vaccine because:
- Governments rapidly deployed funds to support research.
- Administrative processes such as ethics certification and regulatory authorizations were prioritized outside of normal processes.
- High numbers of COVID cases in all regions drove research and enabled the substantial collection of data over a short period of time.
According to Dr. William Ghali, MD, vice-president (research), “2020 was an unparalleled year in vaccine research. Strides were made across many fronts and in many countries because of the collective will of humanity to find a solution.”
Also unprecedented is the robust real-time and online coverage of the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Globally, the focus is on driving for successful vaccine development and deployment. With a worldwide target on tackling the pandemic, the amount of information presented on vaccine research is sometimes confusing, conflicting and — on some occasions — wrong. While there has been a degree of difficulty staying abreast of accurate vaccine news, UCalgary stands behind the recommendations outlined by Alberta Health Services, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization, which support vaccines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Research shows that vaccines provide effective protection against COVID-19
- For yourself;
- For your loved ones;
- For those you are around who suffer from a chronic illness and whose illness prevents them from receiving their own vaccine;
- For the front-line and essential workers who are unable to isolate;
- For those you interact with day-to-day; and
- To protect those under 12 who are unable to be vaccinated yet.
Vaccines are proven to be safe
- All vaccines have some side-effects.
- Severe side-effects are extremely rare, but receive disproportionate coverage in the news and social media, making these occurrences appear more frequent than they are.
- Vaccines are readily available through Alberta Health Services and many pharmacies, or by calling 811.
- On campus, Student Wellness Services and Varsity Pharmacy in the MacEwan Student Centre also have vaccinations available by appointment.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine also supports front-line workers and health-care professionals who are frequently exposed to the disease.
“It is also important to protect our nurses and other medical professionals who are on the front line of tackling this pandemic,” says Dr. Sandra Davidson, PhD, RN, dean of the Faculty of Nursing.
“When a person gets vaccinated, they don’t just protect themselves, they also protect the doctors, nurses and other medical staff that are responsible for their care — as well as other nearby patients who may be at increased risk.”
A safe return to campus and to resuming normalcy in all our daily lives is predicated on enough people being fully vaccinated that the disease does not have enough hosts to spread.
“The Cumming School of Medicine unequivocally supports that all of us get vaccinated,” says the school’s dean, Dr. Jon Meddings, MD. “This will save lives, open Alberta for business and ensure the safety of our health system. Vaccinations are the best protection and the best defence against COVID and its variants, and we must not waiver in pressing for everyone to be protected.”
A website has been set up detailing UCalgary’s COVID-19 response. For more information on the response, you can also email us.
If someone you know is vaccine-hesitant, or you have concerns, please reach out to your family physician for guidance, read the World Health Organization's article on How to Talk about Vaccines, and check out UCalgary’s 19toZero Vaccine FAQ and webinar for more information.
Already vaccinated and want to know what it means for you? Check out this handy guide.