UNAM u-turns on mandatory vaccine notice

Tujoromajo Kasuto

THE University of Namibia (UNAM) has clarified that the mandatory vaccination that was imposed on students at the Rundu campus was merely an administrative error that has been corrected.

The university came under fire in the last 24 hours after it was reported in the media that the university had imposed a mandatory vaccine mandate for students to be accepted into the hostel.

Unam Spokesperson John Haufiku, says the university’s position on vaccines has not changed and remains voluntary.

“Even at Rundu students who are not vaccinated are allowed in the hostel. I think what happened was that one of the administrators on the ground misunderstood the directive from the hostel management,”

Haufiku asserted

“The university’s position is that all vaccinations must be on a voluntary basis as per national guidelines,” he said.

He further adds that the matter has been resolved as soon as the university’s management became aware of it.

Furthermore, staff on the ground have been advised on how to carry out the hostel adminationstration, which only requires inquiring about the

percentage of those who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated, as this helps maintain up-to-date data in the event of a COVID19 outbreak, he explained.

Haufiku further adds that the university has been leading an internal vaccination campaign earmarked at encouraging all stakeholders to get the jab.

Meanwhile the Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) was ready to drag the university to court, as they unequivocally rejected the vaccine mandate.

The Youth Leagues Acting Secretary General (SG) , Yvette Araes earlier shared that the PDMYL has written to UNAM to demand an unequivocal retraction of their vaccine mandate for hostel students.

She had maintained that if this vaccine mandate by UNAM was left unchallenged, it would open a floodgate for UNAM and other institutions to make unilateral decisions over the bodily autonomy of ordinary Namibians, and the PDMYL is of the view that such a state of affairs cannot be allowed to prevail in a democratic Namibia.

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