Vaccination to be mandatory for University of the Free State students
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CAPE TOWN - The University of the Free State (UFS) has now made it a requirement for those entering campus to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The UFS council announced on Saturday that it had carefully considered and approved a vaccination policy for the institution during its meeting on November 26, and said the policy would be implemented from February 14 next year.
“The policy implies that the university does not force anyone to be vaccinated, but the institution has the right to require vaccination if you want to access the institution’s premises, in order to protect our staff and students,” said UFS rector and vice-chancellor Professor Francis Petersen.
The university had a fiduciary duty to ensure a safe and caring environment, and to meet health and safety obligations on the campuses.
“Although a blended learning approach is supported, sole online learning would be detrimental to the quality of our graduates and the experience that the institution should offer to its students as a residential university,” said Petersen.
The vice-chancellor said UFS believed that the policy would be a contributing factor in encouraging the entire university community to vaccinate.
The university said that although the policy did not force anyone to vaccinate, it was aimed at restricting campus access to non-vaccinated persons, while at the same time considering applications for exemption based on medical and religious grounds, natural immunity objections, other legally acceptable exemptions, or those participating in clinical trials approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).
According to the policy, vaccinated persons will be required to upload their vaccination certificates on an electronic platform to obtain access to campus.
The university clarified that students who are not vaccinated by February 14 will not be prevented from registering for the academic year.