Dear colleagues and students
Thank you for your participation in our engagement sessions last week, which allowed the University of Cape Town (UCT) executive to share our position on the proposed COVID-19 vaccination policy for the institution. I am now writing to update you on the next steps in this important process. The UCT Council approved in-principle, to take effect as from 1 January 2022, a proposal requiring that all staff (as a condition of being able to perform their duties) and students (as a condition of registration) provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The UCT Council discussed this complex matter fully and took into consideration a range of diverse views at a meeting held on Saturday, 16 October. Council resolved that the university executive should proceed to establish an appropriately constituted panel, whose task would be to develop the operational details required to implement the campus access dispensation as referred to above, including the principles and guidelines for exemption from a requirement to provide proof of vaccination. As the UCT executive we will be required to report back to Council at its December 2021 meeting.
As part of our engagements, UCT staff and students were also invited to complete a short survey on the matter. The majority of staff and students who completed the survey supported a mandatory vaccination policy for UCT.
The UCT Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of mandatory vaccination at their last meeting in September, with 83% of respondents in the ballot indicating support. The UCT College of Fellows has also released a statement supporting vaccination at UCT.
UCT continues to encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as that will help keep down the rate and the severity of COVID-19 infection.
The UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence, with access from Broad Street, is open to staff, students and the general public from 08:00 to 15:00 on Monday to Friday. In the event that the centre will be open on a given Saturday, that will be announced on UCT’s social media channels.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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