UCT moves to introduce mandatory vaccinations for staff and students

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) council has approved a proposal to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for campus access.

In principle, the mandate will take effect from 1 January 2022 and apply to both staff and students, vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said in a statement published on the university’s website on Wednesday (20 October).

The proposal requires that all staff, as a condition of being able to perform their duties, and students, as a condition of registration, provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19.

“The UCT Council discussed this complex matter fully and took into consideration a range of diverse views at a meeting held on Saturday (16 October).

“Council resolved that the university executive should proceed to establish an appropriately constituted panel, whose task would be to develop the operational details required to implement the campus access dispensation as referred to above, including the principles and guidelines for exemption from a requirement to provide proof of vaccination.”

Phakeng said UCT’s Executive would be required to report back to the council with these plans in a December 2021 meeting.

As part of our engagements, UCT staff and students were also invited to complete a short survey on the matter, she said.

“The majority of staff and students who completed the survey supported a mandatory vaccination policy for UCT.

“The UCT Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of mandatory vaccination at their last meeting in September, with 83% of respondents in the ballot indicating support. The UCT College of Fellows has also released a statement supporting vaccination at UCT.”

The university said that it continues to encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as that will help keep down the rate and the severity of Covid-19 infection.”

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