SASCO Rejects Mandatory Vaccination By Higher Education Institutions

SASCO rejects the attempt by some universities in South Africa to implement mandatory vaccinations. The organisation believes the current discussion is an adventurous imposition on self-determination and the freedom of choice.

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The South African Students Congress released a statement that reflected their views on mandatory vaccinations by South African institutions. 

While SASCO supports the request for the rollout of vaccinations to protect students in South Africa, they are worried by the process of engagement and the reasoning used to justify the mandatory vaccination of students in universities.

As an organisation, SASCO believes that the COVID-19 vaccination should remain voluntary so as not to infringe on people’s decisions. They believe that people should be able to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to deciding whether to take the vaccination.

“We must also consider the possibility that once vaccines are made mandatory, this may fuel more hesitance amongst our people,” read the statement.

The organisation stated that they are concerned by the lack of engagement and consultation around the suggestion of mandatory vaccination. They believe they should exhaust all avenues of engagement in an effort to deal with vaccine scepticism.

SASCO states that transparency, engagement, superior logic and openness are important tools to engage voluntary participation.

“SASCO is also concerned around the urgency for students, who on average rage between the age of 18-30, would be imposed a mandatory vaccination when they are not the most vulnerable group and are not quantitatively significant enough to justify any urgency as it relates to the broader National vaccine drive,” read the statement.

The organisation will be engaging with the institutions that are considering mandatory vaccination and student leaders who will be attending the university forums.

Now more than ever is the time for engagement, A time to foster collaboration and appreciate the constructive buy-in. Our institutions must not slip into draconian authoritarianism. Institutions must be centres of intellectual engagement and persuasion, they should never harbour anything other than a healthy appetite to engage.

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