Many university students on board with mandatory COVID-19 vaccines

The University of the Free State, Western Cape, and Wits have now all made it a requirement for those entering campus to be fully vaccinated against the virus.

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CAPE TOWN - University students seem to be supporting the decision by tertiary institutions to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The University of the Free State, Western Cape, and Wits have now all made it a requirement for those entering campus to be fully vaccinated against the virus.

Meanwhile the University of Cape Town's council is set to report back on approving a compulsory vaccine mandate by next month.

UWC's Gasant Abarder said they made sure to get by-in from students and staff before implementing the policy.

"We wanted to do wider consultations so we took it to all our students - postgrad, undergrad, our support staff as well as our academic staff. We also offered vaccinations to all our staff and their families," he said.

While there's much excitement around the return to in-person learning, Abarder said universities are keeping a close eye on COVID developments and potential changes to lockdown regulations.

"Things are changing very rapidly, there's a new variant out, there's talk of a fourth wave. As with everything that we do, the policy can be in place, but it's obviously subject to all national regulations. So if there is another lockdown level we would need to comply with the regulations. We can't do our own thing."