Dear colleagues and students
As we all work to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope you are giving serious thought to the opportunity to become vaccinated when you are eligible.
Today Dr Blade Nzimande, the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, announced the formal commencement of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the post-schooling education and training sector (PSET).
The detailed plans are still being worked out, but we anticipate that University of Cape Town (UCT) staff members who are aged 35 years or older might be able to receive vaccinations as early as next week. We are waiting on details to be finalised by Higher Health and will keep you informed as these details are confirmed.
Meanwhile, I encourage you to be prepared to take advantage of this important opportunity by registering online at the SA COVID-19 Vaccination Registration portal. Once you have registered, you will receive an sms to verify your eligibility for vaccination.
We are aware that some of you may not be convinced that getting a vaccination is beneficial to you and the people you love. You may have questions about whether getting a vaccination is the right choice for you.
The Department of Higher Education and Training is encouraging everyone in the sector to register for vaccination as soon as possible, and is doing what it can to assist institutions within the current roll-out parameters. I am also encouraging all of you who are eligible to please go to any of the vaccination sites already opened to get your vaccine.
This is one reason that the University of Cape Town (UCT) is working with the provincial Department of Health to develop a vaccine site. Once this site is open, it will be available to UCT staff members students and the broader Cape Town community who have registered, but you are of course welcome to visit any other vaccination site. Please note that all registrations must go through the Department of Health.
Getting as many people vaccinated as possible is a scientifically proven way of reducing the risk of infection and the severity of the illness if you do get it. It can also be a way of helping to protect the people around you. When enough people in the community are vaccinated, it slows down the spread of disease. Achieving population immunity is a long-term goal. It usually requires a large amount of the population to be vaccinated.
Of course, it is still possible to transmit the virus, so even vaccinated people need to continue to wear masks in public, maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m from other people, wash/sanitise hands frequently, and avoid large public gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.
Thank you for doing all you can to keep yourself and those around you safe from COVID-19 infection. May you stay healthy and strong.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Read previous communications:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.