Last week, the University of Witwatersrand’s council approved Wits’ Covid-19 vaccination policy after weeks of deliberation.
The University said, "The Wits COVID-19 Vaccination Policy will help to protect the health and safety of the University community and the broader public. The University will make provision for the vaccination of employees and students on campus and at dedicated sites in 2022".
The policy will require both staff and students to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to access the university's premises.
Staff and students will also be required to provide proof that they are vaccinated. This information will be linked to their profiles. Unvaccinated members of the Wits community will only be allowed access if they are granted reasonable accommodation.
Reasonable accommodation is defined as ‘Appropriate modification and/or adjustments, where practical and possible to a student’s participation in University Activity’. Reasonable accommodation will be directed by the faculty or those responsible for managing the implementation of the vaccine policy.
Wits say that students who were infected by cCovid-19 in the past will not be exempt from vaccination. Everyone will also need to comply with the national and universities Covid-19 protocols. These include mask wearing and other non pharmaceutical interventions.
Unvaccinated members of the Wits community will also need to comply with additional protocols including daily health screening and weekly antigen testing. Individuals will still be required to get tested even if they are not symptomatic. The university will pay for the antigen testing for the first few months of implementation.
Unvaccinated individuals could also be barred from participating in certain university activities. This could include social engagements, graduations or securing space at a university-owned residence.
"The Wits Covid-19 Vaccination Policy will help to protect the health and safety of the University community and the broader public. The University will make provision for the vaccination of employees and students on campus and at dedicated sites in 2022" said the University.