The University of Johannesburg is the latest university to join the brigade of South African tertiary education institutions that have made the vaccine mandatory.
Their decision largely follows news of the Omicron variant – the most recently reported COVID-19 variant.
The UJ Council made the decision in favour of mandatory vaccinations for staff and students to be implemented from January 2022, and said:
“The vaccination policy states that staff, post-doctoral research fellows, and students will need to provide UJ with their vaccination status – first vaccination completed or fully vaccinated – before gaining access to any campus or facility. These measures also apply to ad hoc contractors, identified stakeholders and visitors.”
The position toward mandatory vaccinations stemmed from what UJ believes would allow for optimal access ‘to the university’s facilities in terms of working, learning, research as well as laboratory and clinical work whilst protecting the health of its’ community.
According to Herman Esterhuizen, exemptions will be considered if they are based on medical or religious grounds. He further noted that UJ will balance the rights of the individual against the collective rights of the broader university and community.
In addition to UJ, here are the South Africa Universities that have opted for mandatory vaccination policies:
- University of Cape Town
- University of the Western Cape
- Rhodes University
- University of the Free State
- University of the Witswatersrand
Stellenbosch University and the University of Pretoria are two of the bigger higher learning institutions in South Africa that have not adopted mandatory vaccination policies.
The 26-member body that constitutes Universities South Africa (USAf) has previously declared that vaccinations are a must.
Picture: Future Learn