UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng. File picture:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng. File picture:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

UCT Council approves mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for staff and students to return in 2022

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Oct 20, 2021

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All staff and students from UCT could from January 1, next year be required to be vaccinated for Covid-19 to enter campus.

The UCT Council approved in-principle a proposal that staff who wish to return to perform their duties and students who wish to register would need to provide proof of vaccination.

Over the weekend the council “discussed the matter fully” and took into consideration a range of diverse views.

Vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said the UCT Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of mandatory vaccination.

In September, 83% of respondents in the ballot indicated support for the proposal.

“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,” said Phakeng in a statement.

Speaking on behalf of the UCT College of Fellows, chairperson Mamokgethi said a responsible return to normal academic activity would only be possible if all students and staff vaccinate, as the pandemic would likely continue into next year.

The UCT College of Fellows is a distinguished body of professors, consisting of over 90 fellows representing more than 40 academic disciplines.

“The College of Fellows supports calls for a requirement that all staff and students of UCT provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, before engaging in in-person group activities.

“Such face-to-face group interaction is an essential component of the academic project allowing the university to achieve its full potential,” said Phakeng.

The UCT executive will report back to Council at its December meeting.

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