Student Union Opposes Mandatory Vaccinations In Universities

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A student union body has stated that it is opposed to the recent adoption of mandatory vaccination policies by a number of universities nationwide. This comes as universities collectively reintroduce mandatory vaccination policies as a precautionary measure against a new Covid-19 variant in preparation for the next academic year. 

 

 


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The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has taken to social media to respond to universities that have opted to implement mandatory vaccination policies. 

This comes after the University of the Free State, Rhodes University, University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape as well as the University of the Witwatersrand all decided to make it mandatory for staff and students to get vaccinated in 2022.

This follows the recent arrival of the B.1.1.529 variant or Omicron which was first discovered by South African Scientists on 24 November 2021. The variant was initially reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by South Africa as “a variant of concern”.

The student body stated on a Facebook post that although it is of the view that the uptake of vaccines could contribute immensely to the resumption of in-person campus attendance. 

They do not agree with the wide adoption of mandatory vaccination policy by universities across the country. 

We are however unequivocally opposed to mandatory vaccinations by institutions of higher learning. Students and workers must be afforded their constitutional rights to determine and choose to vaccinate.

The union further stated it takes a strong stance against the decision taken by these higher learning institutions, on the basis that there are more persuasive means to convince staff and students to go vaccinate.

We, therefore, must uncategorically denounce and condemn the decision taken by various institutions in making the vaccines mandatory. We believe that this move will undermine all legitimate efforts towards persuading citizens and in particular students to take up the vaccine.

The union added that the universities in question should have exhausted all available avenues in convincing students and staff members to get inoculated. 

The student body has also said that it intends to contact all of the above-mentioned universities in writing and that it will ensure that all students are registered in 2022 whether they get vaccinated or choose not.
 


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