Many South African tertiary institutions had publicly announced that there will be mandatory vaccination policies introduced at the beginning of the 2022 academic year.
Some universities require students to be vaccinated before they can register or enter campus. Exceptions are only made for medical or religious reasons and in those cases, students have to provide proof.
As the year starts and registrations are underway, students and student formations are resisting this policy.
In an SABC live interview, a National Union of Students representative said:
We don’t want our students to be bothered by any institution when it comes to vaccination or any mandatory vaccination. We will go to those institutions and make sure that students get access.
Generally, student leaders don’t want students to be forced into being vaccinated.
One of the students who are anti-mandatory vaccinations said South Africa should keep its democracy and be pro-choice.
In the same tune, a student leader added that they reject the mandatory vaccination policy and will take necessary measures to reject it.
The National Department of Health continues to urge people to vaccinate, the department stressed that vaccinations are the only effective method against the Covid pandemic.
However, the Department of Higher Education has called for consultations on the thorny matter.
Earlier in the year, the Commission of Gender Equality called on institutions of higher learning to afford the same respect to students and workers who may not wish to vaccinate.