COVID-19 Vaccine Program: FAQs for Employees
We have compiled the information below to provide our faculty and staff with a variety of details relating to Red Deer Polytechnic's vaccination program. The information is meant to assist our employees in answering questions or concerns they may have as this new program is implemented.
Why is Red Deer Polytechnic implementing a COVID-19 vaccination requirement program?
Red Deer Polytechnic is committed to protecting the health and safety of its students, staff, faculty and broader community while on its campuses. As a public, post-secondary institution, Red Deer Polytechnic will continue to adhere to current public health measures, including the Restrictions Exemption program identified by the Government of Alberta, as we all do our part to protect one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccines play an important role in helping to protect our community and bringing the pandemic to an end. Requiring members of the Red Deer Polytechnic community to provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests helps work towards the safest possible working and learning environment for everyone.
Please read Red Deer Polytechnic's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
Why is Red Deer Polytechnic choosing to adhere to the Restrictions Exemption Program when it appears to be optional?
Like all other post-secondary institutions in Alberta, Red Deer Polytechnic has chosen to adhere to current public health measures, including a separate (and sector-specific) exemption program for post-secondary institutions.
At Red Deer Polytechnic, we have chosen to adhere to this program because we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, students and members of the broader community. The specific exemption program for post-secondary institutions was issued on September 27, with pertinent details following on September 28.
As an organization, we believe that we should all do our part, where possible, to protect one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do I need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to come to campus?
Starting November 8, 2021, all staff, students, faculty, vendors, contractors and other guests (age 12 and up) must be fully vaccinated in order to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses. Fully vaccinated means that it has been 14 days since receiving all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to show proof of a negative rapid test.
For all two-dose vaccines, this means you must receive your first dose no later than October 4, 2021, and your second dose no later than October 25, 2021.
Starting October 18, 2021, individuals who: receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination October 4, 2021, or later; choose to remain unvaccinated; choose not to disclose their vaccination status; or have an approved exemption status that requires the accommodation of rapid testing, will be required to undergo rapid testing every 72 hours. These individuals must complete and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test before attending Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses for any reason.
Starting November 8, 2021, all staff, students, faculty, vendors, contractors and other guests (age 12 years and up) must be fully vaccinated in order to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses.
Some exceptions for youth (under 18 years of age) apply, based on Alberta’s current public health measures:
Youth (under 18) sport, fitness and performance activities
- Indoor group classes, training, and competitions are permitted, but participants are required to:
- Screen for symptoms
- Maintain a distance of two metres, except youth while engaged in physical activity
- Wear a mask, except youth while engaged in physical activity
Youth (under 18) attending sport, fitness or performance activities but not actively participating are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative rapid test.
What happens if I am not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated?
It’s not too late! If you are not yet vaccinated and need to know where to go, there are many options available.
See below for immunization clinic locations:
Westerner Exhibition Hall 4847A - 19 St, Red Deer
- First & Second Dose Moderna 18+
- Youth Clinic (born 2004-2009) Pfizer First & Second Dose
Hours of Operation (until further notice): 10 am - 7 pm
You can also visit the Alberta Health Services website for more information.
Consult a health professional if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Anyone who is not partially or fully vaccinated and/or does not disclose their vaccination status as required, must complete a weekly COVID-19 PCR or rapid test and must provide proof of a negative result before they attend Red Deer Polytechnic beginning October 18, 2021.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated by November 8, 2021, will not be permitted to visit Red Deer Polytechnic, attend activities, and/or work on campus unless they have proof of a negative rapid test.
If I am not fully vaccinated, can I work from home?
Red Deer Polytechnic offers flexible work options, but all employees regardless of their usual work location are required to attend campus for team meetings and other events. As a result, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative rapid test every 72 hours if they are attending Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses.
If I am fully vaccinated, do I have to follow other safety measures like wearing masks?
Yes. Effective September 4, 2021, the Government of Alberta has made masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces, including workplaces regardless of a person’s vaccination status.
If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated?
Yes. Vaccinations are safe and effective for individuals who have already had COVID-19. Our bodies naturally generate antibodies, but it is not known how long immunity lasts, or how many antibodies an individual will produce. As a result, in order to protect our Red Deer Polytechnic community, all individuals attending our campuses must be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test every 72 hours.
Once you have recovered from COVID-19, have ended your isolation period, and have been fully vaccinated (with 14 days passing) and can provide proof, you will be able to return to Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses.
If I previously tested positive for COVID-19 and I am choosing not to get vaccinated, my rapid test may continue to show that I am positive for COVID-19 for 90 days. What can I do?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are choosing to not receive a vaccination, you will need to complete the medical exemption request form. This exemption form will be available on our website starting October 5.
Please note that completing the exemption request form does not guarantee approval of the exemption.
If I previously tested positive for COVID-19 and I received a recommendation to wait 90 days for my vaccination, what can I do?
Alberta Health Services recommends that individuals can receive their COVID-19 vaccination once a person is symptom-free. If you do not wish to receive your vaccination within this 90-day window, you can apply for a medical exemption from Red Deer Polytechnic. The medical exemption form will be available on our website starting October 5.
Please note that completing the exemption request form does not guarantee approval of the exemption.
I’ve heard or read that COVID-19 vaccine doses should be given 28 days apart, but Red Deer Polytechnic’s vaccination program provides only 21 days between people receiving their first dose and second dose, if they aren’t currently immunized. Why is there this timing discrepancy?
The timeframe identified in Red Deer Polytechnic’s vaccination program adheres to vaccination information provided by Alberta Health Services.
Red Deer Polytechnic has received confirmation from Alberta Health Services that the minimum timeframe is 19 days between doses one and two for Pfizer, and the minimum timeframe is 21 days between doses one and two for Moderna.
How does Red Deer Polytechnic define an individual to be partially vaccinated?
Partially Vaccinated means those individuals who have:
- proof of receiving at least one dose of a World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by Health Canada and at least 14 have passed since the date on which the person received the first dose of vaccine.
How does Red Deer Polytechnic define an individual to be fully vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated means those individuals who have:
- proof of receiving two doses of a World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by Health Canada in a two-dose vaccine series and at least 14 days have passed since the date on which the person received the second dose of vaccine OR
- proof of receiving one dose in a one-dose World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by Health Canada series and at least 14 days have passed since the date on which the person received the one dose of vaccine.
Do I need to provide proof that I’ve been fully vaccinated?
Yes. Red Deer Polytechnic is working to update its internal portal to be its central point for data collection. There will be two components:
1) Declare your vaccination status in the portal. This must be completed no later than October 18, 2021. More information will be provided on how to submit your declaration by October 5, 2021.
2) An auditing process will be put in place to monitor compliance of all faculty, staff and students. You will be asked to share proof of vaccination or your negative rapid COVID-19 test results.
You are encouraged to go to https://www.albertavaccinerecord.ca/#/ and download your Alberta COVID 19 Vaccine Record if you have not done so already, as this will be a convenient method of showing proof of vaccination when required, whether by Red Deer Polytechnic or other organizations.
In the event an employee submits a false or misleading declaration or fraudulent immunization record or does not provide proof of a negative rapid test when requested, disciplinary measures may be pursued in accordance with Red Deer Polytechnic policies and applicable collective agreements.
Can you guarantee that vaccinated individuals are not at risk of catching or transmitting the virus to others after vaccination?
If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, we invite you to learn more by visiting Alberta Health Services’ website, which includes an FAQ section with a range of questions and answers to help inform you. You may also wish to speak with your personal health care provider or to contact Alberta Health Link.
Is my vaccine information confidential?
Should you have questions about the collection or use of your personal information, please contact: Access & Privacy Coordinator by email at privacy [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca.
Does this vaccination program infringe on my human rights?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Red Deer Polytechnic has the duty to help keep its students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe while on its campuses. Red Deer Polytechnic is following COVID-19 recommendations from Alberta Health Services. Other post-secondary institutions in Alberta are also implementing a vaccination plan for on-campus students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
If you believe Red Deer Polytechnic’s vaccine protocols violate human rights under the Alberta Human Rights Act, you may apply for an exemption. Additional details, and exemption forms, will be will be available on our website starting October 5.
After November 8, 2021, what will happen if an employee is not fully vaccinated?
Employees who are not fully vaccinated will not be permitted to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses unless they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test.
Has Red Deer Polytechnic consulted the bargaining agents about this vaccination plan?
Red Deer Polytechnic has consulted with all affected bargaining agents (CUPE, AUPE and FARDC). We fully expect them to work with us to ensure the health and safety of their members and all other individuals who are part of the Red Deer Polytechnic community.
With what scientific evidence can Red Deer Polytechnic identify that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective?
If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, we invite you to learn more by visiting Alberta Health Services’ website, which includes this document and an FAQ section with a range of questions and answers to help inform you. You may also wish to speak with your personal health care provider or to contact Alberta Health Link.
What if I cannot be vaccinated?
An extremely limited number of individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Generally speaking, these are limited to those with an allergy to one or more components of the vaccine or who had a severe adverse reaction to their first dose of the vaccine.
Red Deer Polytechnic will consider exemption requests on a case-by-case basis. Exemptions are for individuals attending Red Deer Polytechnic and its activities only. The exemption may not apply to partner agencies or institutions. If you are submitting an exemption request, please visit the COVID-19 vaccination program webpage for details.
Do employees need to continue to use the RDP SAFE App each time before arriving on Red Deer Polytechnic's main or downtown campus?
Yes, all employees will continue to use the RDP SAFE App for contact tracing purposes. Everyone is required to complete this assessment daily before they visit Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses.
Questions and Answers Below Were Added on October 5, 2021
How can Red Deer Polytechnic request a person to provide their vaccination status? This is private and confidential medical information.
Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [Section 33(c)] permits public organizations, such as Red Deer Polytechnic, to collect personal information from individuals when that information is directly related to, and necessary for operating a program within the organization.
In this context, Red Deer Polytechnic is permitted to collect proof of vaccination for use only in identifying an individual’s compliance with the institution’s vaccination program.
What if I have additional questions?
Employees who have additional questions can email elr [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca.