WATERLOO -- Wilfrid Laurier University will require all students, staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access campus this fall.

"The decision reflects Laurier's continued efforts to focus on the health and safety of the university community amid the ongoing risks of COVID-19," reads a statement on the university's website.

As of Sept. 7, staff, students and faculty will be required to confirm their vaccination status before attending any Laurier campus, including those in Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener, Toronto and Milton.

Members of the campus community must be fully vaccinated or have plans to be fully vaccinated, university officials said.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will be required to "commit to regular COVID-19 testing" and received a negative test result before attending campus.

“As the pandemic has progressed, the university has been urging members of the Laurier community to take part in our shared responsibility by getting vaccinated,” Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor, said in a release. “This requirement will help us protect the health of each other and allows us to play an essential role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.”

Wilfrid Laurier now joins a growing list of Ontario universities requiring vaccination for on-campus activities, including the University of Guelph.

The University of Waterloo and Conestoga College have not yet announced vaccine requirements to attend campus, but will require vaccination for students living in residence and for varsity athletes.

Laurier says the decision to require vaccination on campus was endorsed by both the Brant County Health Unit and Region of Waterloo Public Health.

“I strongly support Wilfrid Laurier University enacting vaccination policies that will facilitate the highest vaccination coverage possible,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Region of Waterloo’s medical officer of health, said in a release. “High vaccination coverage will be our strongest tool to prevent local outbreaks in the upcoming academic year. Full immunization offers the best protection against COVID-19 and reduces the risk for severe outcomes.”

Those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or for other grounds protected under the Human Rights Code can submit a request for accommodation and will be required to follow COVID-19 testing requirements.

“We are still very much in the midst of our battle with this illness,” Dr. Malcolm Lock, acting medical officer of health at the Brant County Health Unit, said in a release. “Our best tool to ensure students and staff remain safe, is to have as many school community members as possible receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”