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
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COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.
The University of Cape Town in partnership with the Western Cape Government (WCG) have reinforced our commitment to bringing hope to the residents of the Mother City with the launch of the world‑class Community of Hope Vaccination Centre that opened its doors on Monday, 30 August 2021.
The site is located on Main Road in Mowbray – in the Forest Hill Residence – and access is from Broad Street. The site is open every day: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00.
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.