Wits University has released a framework in efforts to make vaccines mandatory for student. The University has now received some negative reactions to this proposal.
Wits University is looking to make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for anyone wanting to come on campus. However, the University’s Student Representative Council (SRC) does not seem to completely be on board as concerns arise.
The University is said to have released a proposed mandatory vaccination framework which looks to make inoculation mandatory for both students and staff.
Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research at Wits, Professor Lynn Morris, spoke to eNCA and said:
Wits has taken a position that in order to keep our campus safe, we require that everybody be vaccinated when coming on to our campus. This really is because we know that vaccines are very effective and we’re doing this to show some leadership because vaccines work as a community intervention and they work when everyone takes them.
There will be exclusions allowed such as those who choose to not get vaccinated due to a medical reason.
Those who choose not to get vaccinated will only be allowed on campus if they follow specific protocols such as doing weekly Covid tests, which those individuals will have to pay for. Students and staff wanting to come on campus will also have to wear an N95 mask.
The poor students are the most disadvantaged by not getting vaccinated because staying at home and trying to learn from and all the data issues, we are encouraging all students to get vaccinated.
Morris said they have received wide support for the policy but the SRC has spoken about some of their concerns. The SRC Secretary-General, Nhlonipho Nxumalo, said:
It is impractical for students who are poor, especially students who are staying in Braamfontein, to go to the clinic. These students, on a weekly basis, will have to go to a clinic. Their safety is compromised … How can they afford to, on a weekly basis, go to the clinic to test.
The SRC therefore wants the University to pay for the testing and provide a testing space at the University and even submitted a letter to the University Council.
Morris has said that the University is looking at it and that this is only a framework which means that they still need to discuss the plan to put it into place.
Another suggestion put forward by the SRC is for there to be a hybrid learning system as the University has already rolled out an online learning system.
They believe that following protocols such as wearing a mask, sanitising and social distancing should be enough to allow students on campus.