Mixed reactions to UCT's mandatory vaccine policy
The University of Cape Town Council has approved a proposal requiring all staff and students to provide acceptable proof of vaccination against Covid-19, vice-chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng announced on Wednesday.
Phakeng said the approval comes after consideration of diverse views expressed at a meeting held on October 16. The mandatory vaccination policy will take effect in January 2022.
“As part of our engagements, UCT staff and students were 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,” said Phakeng.
The student representative council (SRC) said it received 6,354 submissions from students and staff who weighed in on the proposal. Fifty-two percent were in support of mandatory vaccinations, 42% were opposed and 6% said they were undecided.
The SRC said it had extended the date for submissions to allow more students to participate in the survey.
“While we recognise that the number of responses received is not nearly representative of the student community, it exceeds the historic average of responses received from previous SRC surveys,” it said.
Social media reactions
The announcement was met with mixed response, with most expressing their criticism of the policy.
This decision is so authoritarian and no longer based on science or medicine.— Chinenye Assumpta Onyeagoziri (@Assumpta_Nn) October 21, 2021
Why are you not considering natural immunity?
Authoritarianism. Not backed by the science... Shocking and unethical.— Malcolm Applewhite (@mal_apple) October 20, 2021
UCT had a proud tradition of supporting conscientious objection, even if objecters did so for the "wrong", "selfish" reasons, but no more it seems. The UCT Council decision is desperate & authoritarian & shows it is unable to persuade thru logic & rational argument.— Skotti (@Skotty_bovine) October 20, 2021