Mandatory Vaccination On The Cards For Many Universities

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With a new academic year just around the corner, the topic of mandatory vaccination in order to access campus has flared up.


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With a new academic year just around the corner, the topic of mandatory vaccination in order to access campus has flared up.

Universities in South Africa have started introducing vaccination policies. Many of these policies will be introduced this year.

In December 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa also announced the establishment of a task team to investigate the possibility of making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory.

Vaccination against the virus is widely viewed as one of the best pharmaceutical tools to combat the impact of the pandemic. Despite this, Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla said the rate of vaccination declined during the festive season.

Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia Chief executive officer for Higher Health says they want to see a large portion, if not all of their campus community vaccinated against the virus.

He revealed that 70% of learning took place online as an effect of the pandemic. He believes that this strengthens the call for members of the campus community to get vaccinated to combat this to ensure students are back at their lecture halls.

“I can't see how a doctor can be developed online,” declared Ahluwalia.

“There is an absolute need for us to go into more of contact learning and less on online learning otherwise our whole economic system or the economic system or the skill building system will collapse” added Ahluwalia.

He says despite this, every student has the right to education regardless of their vaccination status. He adds timeframes and parameters must be developed in order to successfully introduce vaccination policies.

Students who choose not to get vaccinated could apply for exemptions on medical or religious grounds. Ahluwalia however warns that an individual's right could be trumped by the rights of society or a community as a whole. 

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