Masks, Vaccine Cards, and other COVID-19 related FAQs

Last updated: September 1, 2021

Public health orders are adapted frequently based on changes in the COVID-19 pandemic. We have compiled a list of questions you might have about masks, vaccine requirements and other COVID-19-related topics at SFU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will masks be required for all public indoor spaces?

Effective August 25, masks are required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2009 or earlier (ages 12+). At SFU, public indoor settings include all indoor common areas and learning spaces.

Please see message from President ​Johnson​ for more information.

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Will the BC Vaccine Card be required across SFU campuses?

On August 23, the Provincial Health Officer announced the BC Vaccine Card, which will be implemented beginning September 13 for discretionary activities and events during this period of high risk.

The BC Vaccine Card will be required for those over 12 to prove vaccination for admission to some activities and events. SFU is working with the Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and Training (AEST) and Public Health Office to interpret this order and put detailed plans in place.

This requirement will affect operations on our campuses.

You will need to prove vaccination in order to:

  • Live in student housing. (Note that the requirement for proof of vaccination for student housing comes into effect September 7.)
  • Participate in varsity and intramural athletics
  • Use gyms or recreation facilities
  • Attend student clubs, sports, theatre, performances and other events
  • Dine indoors or on patios at all dining facilities
  • Other activities requiring proof of vaccination will be forthcoming

As we have students from outside B.C. and around the world, we are also working to determine which vaccines are accepted, as well as efficient ways for students from other provinces and countries to prove their vaccination status.

Please note: the website to register for a BC Vaccine Card has not yet launched. When it does, to get your card, you will need your name, date of birth, and Personal Health Number (PHN). You can find your PHN on the back of your BC driver's licence, BC Services Card or CareCard. If you do not have a PHN, please call 1-833-838-2323.

Find out more information about the BC Vaccine Card.

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Where can I get vaccinated?

Fraser Health will be hosting several drop-in popup clinics at the Burnaby and Surrey SFU campuses starting August 27. You do not need an appointment or a Personal Health Number to get a vaccine on campus.

Starting August 30, Nester’s pharmacy in UniverCity will also be providing mRNA vaccines to anyone 12 and up, providing students an alternative option for anyone unable to attend a Burnaby campus clinic.

Students at the Vancouver campus can book an appointment online directly through Vancouver Coastal Health.

You can also find a drop-in vaccine clinic in your community to get your first or second dose. If it has been at least eight weeks since your first vaccine dose and you had it in B.C., you should have received an email invitation to come in for your second dose. Find a clinic in your area to go get your first and/or second dose.

Learn more about getting vaccinated:

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How do I get the BC Vaccine Card if I was vaccinated in another Canadian province or territory?

If you were vaccinated in a Canadian province or territory other than B.C., you must show an official vaccine record and valid government ID recognized by that jurisdiction.

If you have had one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, you must record your vaccination through the Submit/Update My COVID-19 Immunization Record form with the Provincial Immunization Registry.

If you are a resident of B.C., to register for and access your immunization record, please visit the province’s Health Gateway registry. You will need your BC Services Card to register.

Learn more about Proof of Vaccination on the BC Public Health website.

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How do I get the BC Vaccine Card if I was vaccinated in another country?

You may have received a COVID-19 vaccine in a different country prior to coming to Canada on a temporary or permanent basis, or returning to Canada from studying, working or traveling abroad. If you are an international student or a student who has been living abroad and you received a COVID-19 vaccination outside of Canada, you may still need to get a vaccine in Canada.

If you received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in another country, you should:

  1. Register with the Get Vaccinated system to get vaccinated in B.C.
  2. Submit proof of your COVID-19 immunization record to the Provincial Immunization Registry.

B.C. is following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccines list to decide whether or not it is recommended that you receive additional COVID-19 vaccination here.

List of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Pfizer / BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • SinoPharm (Beijing) / Covilo / BBIBP-CorV
  • Sinovac/ CoronaVac

For information on entering Canada and how your vaccination history may impact your entry requirements, check the government’s current travel guidance.

To access your BC vaccine card, you will need to obtain a Personal Health Number and ensure your immunization record is on file with the B.C. provincial government. You will be assigned a Personal Health Number once you have enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP), or when you register by phone with the Get Vaccinated provincial registration system (see below for process).

To update your record and gain access to a BC Vaccine Card if you received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in another province or country, you must:

  • Register with the Get Vaccinated provincial registration system (this can be done online if you already have a Personal Health Number, or by phone if you do not), and 
  • Submit proof of an official immunization record.

Please note: If your proof of vaccination documents are not in English or French, they must be accompanied by a certified translation. For information about translators in British Columbia, visit the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC website.   

It will take 2 to 3 weeks for your immunization record to be entered into the Provincial Immunization Registry after submission. For more information on this process, visit the Government of BC's website and select "I got dose one or two in another province or country".

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What do I need to prove my vaccination status for living in student housing?

Students living in residence (on campus housing) will need proof of their vaccination status beginning September 7, 2021.  SFU is currently working with the Provincial Health Office to determine how students living in residence can prove their vaccination status and to gain clarification on medical exemption status options. As we confirm this information in the days ahead, Residence and Housing will continue to update students living in residence through their SFU e-mail.  For any urgent questions or support needed, please contact housing@sfu.ca.

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