Dear colleagues and students
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.
The vaccination centre brought us hope during a trying time, at the height of battling against COVID-19. Our staff and students, as well as the broader neighbouring communities, benefitted from the convenience of having the centre at our doorstep.
The site also formed part of the Sisonke trial, ensuring approximately 4 246 health care and other frontline workers received their second dosage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as booster shots. In total, over 26 400 vaccinations and boosters were administered at the site.
Additionally, approximately 400 final-year MBChB students were supported in completing a mandatory training programme for the administering of vaccinations. These students had the opportunity to experience a public health initiative and witness collaboration between UCT and the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness.
With the introduction of popup sites and many other vaccination centres around the province in recent months, usage at the site has decreased and it is no longer viable to operate our vaccination centre. It is always a bittersweet moment when a project reaches a handover or closure stage; but the relationships that have been built will remain special and the team can reminisce with joy over the past 11 months, including the opening in August 2021.
We convey heartfelt thanks to the Forest Hill residence staff and students, who generously allowed us to use their grounds in pursuit of a higher purpose. A special thank you to the project team from UCT and the provincial health department; the implementation team that included colleagues from the UCT Properties and Services department; and all cleaning, security and ground staff who helped maintain the premises.
We also express our gratitude to the UCT Communication and Marketing Department and the communications team from the provincial health department.
All these various departments collaborated in creating one of the most impactful and beautiful sites in the province. The operations team of the province must also be commended for the high quality of service, professionalism and kindness shown as commented on by visitors to the site.
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 site.
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 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.
“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.
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.
“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.