Mandatory Vaccine Policies Become Serious In Some Universities

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The new academic year has started with challenges in the Higher Education sector. Some of these issues are in relation to mandatory vaccines in these institutions. 

 


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Most institutions of higher learning adopted the mandatory vaccine policy as of late last year, implementing it at the start of the 2022 academic year.

Two senior academics at Rhodes University had been barred from campus after refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccination injection.

This has been the same consequence for the University of Johannesburg employees after their requests for exemptions were denied.

Individuals are granted an exemption on grounds around religion, bodily integrity, or where somebody has a co-morbidity as a medical reasons that they cannot get vaccinated.

In response to this, in an ENCA live interview, Universities South Africa (Usaf) Dr. Linda Meyer said:

Well, there's obviously a process before the dismissals will be affected but universally, certainly, eight universities have made the decision and there are other universities in discussion and certainly, the intention is to implement the policies in these institutions where the councils have approved the specific policy frames.

Meyer explained that staff and students have an opportunity to appeal in terms of the policy and they would then appeal to a specific committee that would then hear their objection based on the reasons stated for the exemption against being vaccinated.

Furthermore, if the appeal is not successful, the student or staff member will then be engaged to see how they can reasonably be accommodated.

When one’s exemption has been granted, in turn, students and staff members ought to provide a negative test certificate each time they come to work on a weekly basis.

According to Higher Health, this is a reasonable window of security for the institutions.

Everyone accessing university facilities will still need to adhere to Covid-19 regulations such as mask-wearing, whereas, some staff members that have medical reasons may be required to work from home.


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