South Africa World

Forced vaccinations in universities: University student body heads showdown over vaccination policy

From the 1st of December 2021 the universities of the Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, and Free State approved some form of mandatory vaccination for the 2022 academic year. The University of Cape Town was the first to back mandatory vaccination.

On the 23rd of November, the minister of higher education, science, and technology, Blade Nzimande, had hinted that a university vaccine mandate could become system-wide. Nzimande said that the decision on mandatory vaccination would be left to university councils.

Nzimande explained that his department’s priority is to “persuade people to volunteer to be vaccinated”. The University of the Free State’s mandatory vaccination policy was approved by council on 26 November and will take effect on 14 February 2022.

Vice-chancellor Francis Petersen said that the policy does not aim to “force vaccination on anyone” but to safeguard the institution’s right to protect staff and students on its premises.

During the TownHall Debate Yvonne Katsande and Innocent Semosa were joined by different representatives of different universities and shared their thoughts on the matter. Watch this

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