Rhodes University mulling compulsory vaccinations for return to face-to-face classes

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Rhodes University is mulling whether it should make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory as it works towards the resumption of face-to-face learning and teaching.
Rhodes University is mulling whether it should make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory as it works towards the resumption of face-to-face learning and teaching.
Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Rhodes University is mulling whether it should make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory.
  • This as it considers the resumption of face-to-face teaching and learning. 
  • From Friday, students 18 and older will be eligible for a vaccine if they want it. 

Rhodes University is mulling whether it should make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory as it works towards the resumption of face-to-face learning and teaching. 

"As a risk mitigation measure, the university is exploring and learning from the experiences of other institutions about the appropriateness or otherwise of making vaccination mandatory for accessing the university campus and facilities by eligible individuals," it said in a statement. 

On Thursday, Cabinet announced vaccinations would be open to all adults from Friday, two weeks earlier than the planned date for the 18 and over cohort.

READ | Vaccinations surpass 10 million mark - and registration set to open for all adults

On Wednesday, the university formed a technical task team to assess "Covid-19 lessons" from the past year and a half and facilitate preparations for the resumption of the normal university system. 

The teams want to ensure the integrity of the university and take into account the health, safety and well-being of staff, students and the community of Makhanda. 

"The university's position is that of learning to live with the virus with courage and vigilance," stated vice-chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela.

WATCH | Editors' Table on vaccine hesitancy: Are we heading for a catastrophe?

The university encouraged eligible staff and students to take the vaccination to protect themselves and others on- and off-campus. 

Its vaccination site, located at the Gavin Reilly Postgraduate Village, is open to students, staff and the community, and those who are eligible and wish to be vaccinated will have to do so by the end of October. 

In June, university spokesperson Veliswa Mhlophe said although around two-thirds of the 8 377 students were back on campus, there were minimal contact sessions such as lectures and tutorials. 

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