No jab, no entry: Students and staff at Wits required to be vaccinated

26 November 2021 - 21:09
It is now mandatory to be vaccinated before accessing Wits.
It is now mandatory to be vaccinated before accessing Wits.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The University of the Witwatersrand will ban unvaccinated people from entering its campuses from next year. Students and staff will have to be jabbed.

The mandatory vaccination policy was announced on Friday as the country is facing a new Covid-19 variant.

The university said it plans to reinvigorate the student experience in 2022 by enabling more social engagement in its precincts, through clubs, societies, and residence life, and by opening up more spaces for students to learn and socialise safely on site.

“As the university starts to facilitate more teaching, learning and interaction on campus as set out above and returns more students to residences, a mandatory vaccination policy will accordingly aid in protecting the health and safety of the university community and by extension, members of the public that come into contact with the university’s employees and students or otherwise participate in any university activity,” said the university in a statement.

“Employees and students may elect not to be vaccinated on constitutional grounds through the exercise of their rights to privacy, bodily integrity, freedom of religion, freedom of belief, and/or freedom of opinion.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it is noted that these rights are not absolute and may be limited to give effect to this policy,” said the advisory.

Employees of the institution will not be entitled to refuse to return to work on the basis of not having been vaccinated.

“Contractors, consultants, service providers, and their personnel, and visitors who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds, who elect not to be vaccinated on constitutional grounds, or who are unable to provide the university with proof of vaccination will not be permitted access to the university’s precincts,” said Wits.

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