Please register now for vaccination if you are over 35

23 July 2021 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

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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UCT’s response to COVID-19

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 with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.

Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has in June 2022 repealed some of South Africa’s remaining COVID-19 regulations: namely, sections 16A, 16B and 16C of the Regulations Relating to the Surveillance and the Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions under the National Health Act. We are now no longer required to wear masks or limit gatherings. Venue restrictions and checks for travellers coming into South Africa have now also been removed.


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UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre

On Wednesday, 20 July, staff from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences came together with representatives from the Western Cape Government at the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre at Forest Hill Residence to acknowledge the centre’s significance in the fight against COVID-19 and to thank its staff for their contributions. The centre opened on 1 September 2021 with the aim of providing quality vaccination services to UCT staff, students and the nearby communities, as well as to create an opportunity for medical students from the Faculty of Health Sciences to gain practical public health skills. The vaccination centre ceased operations on Friday, 29 July 2022.

With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.


“After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.”
– Vice-Chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative.

Thank You UCT Community

Frequently asked questions


Global Citizen Asks: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe & Effective?

UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) collaborated with Global Citizen, speaking to trusted experts to dispel vaccine misinformation.

If you have further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine check out the FAQ produced by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF). The DTHF has developed a dedicated chat function where you can ask your vaccine-related questions on the bottom right hand corner of the website.

IDM YouTube channel | IDM website


“As a contact university, we look forward to readjusting our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in 2023 as the COVID-19 regulations have been repealed.”
– Prof Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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.