University of Johannesburg adopts mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) ‘s council has adopted a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy that will require proof of vaccination to be provided to enter any university campus or facility.

The policy applies to staff, postdoctoral research fellows, and students. They will only be allowed access to any campus or facility if they can prove that they have had their first vaccine dose or are fully vaccinated.

The measures also apply to ad hoc contractors, identified stakeholders, and visitors.

UJ said its council implemented the policy to ensure staff, postdoctoral research fellows, and students have access to the university’s precincts while protecting the health and safety of the community and UJ’s stakeholders.

It said that allowing optimal access to campuses and facilities is critical due to the socio-economic circumstances of many of the university’s students.

Additionally, some learning programmes require in-person engagement for research and experiential learning.

Exemptions based on medical or religious grounds will be considered.

UJ said it will balance the rights of individuals against the collective rights of the broader university and the surrounding community.

“As the collective rights take precedence, the rights of individuals may be limited in terms of section 36 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996,” the institution stated.

UJ is not the first South African university to consider such a policy. In October, the University of Cape Town (UCT) approved an in-principle proposal on vaccinations as a condition of campus access.

UCT engaged with staff members and students regarding mandatory vaccinations, with the majority indicating support for the policy.

The University had previously held a vote among members of its senate where 83% of voters were for the mandatory vaccination policy.

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University of Johannesburg adopts mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy