As the world adjusts to life in the ‘new normal’ brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic, many universities have begun to deliberate on the topic of mandatory vaccinations.
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has announced that the institution’s management will deliberate on introducing measures that would ensure the safety of its staff and students. This may include making it a requirement for everyone who accesses their facilities to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The University said, ‘UJ is a contact teaching and learning institution of higher learning, and being vaccinated should be a requirement for access to campus to ensure a safe environment. This will enable an optimal delivery of the academic programme and access to research, laboratory and clinical work’.
They have said the development of a Covid-19 vaccination plan will be in line with the country’s laws and in particular the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
When the measures are announced, UJ says it will also affect prospective students and employees who apply at the university. The measures will include requiring all staff, students, visitors and service providers to be vaccinated to be allowed access the university’s campus as well as other university sites
The university will have consultations with various stakeholders including staff and students who will be given an opportunity to provide their opinion on the matter.
UJ said, “additionally, the University has started conducting surveys for staff and students to assess their thoughts, opinions and feelings on the matter. Once this consultation process has been finalised, the outcome will be shared with staff, students, senior managers as well as organised labour and other stakeholders for comment.”.
Should UJ introduce a mandatory vaccination policy, they will join the likes of The University of Witwatersrand (Wits), the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and many others who have introduced similar measures.