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30/03/2021

The University is actively preparing itself as an accredited vaccination centre to support its staff and students as part of the country’s phased COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme.

Work began early this year towards enabling the institution to offer the COVID-19 vaccination at our North and George campuses through the auspices of its Occupational and Student Health Services. Both health professional teams have been liaising directly with the Eastern Cape Department of Health, the Metro’s Health portfolio and Higher Health, which oversees health and wellness in the higher education sector, in preparation for Phase 2 of the rollout programme.

Phase 2

As institutions of higher learning fall into the “congregant” category, Nelson Mandela University is expected to be included in Phase 2 of the rollout process, once all the frontline workers have been vaccinated under Phase 1.

While no specific date for Phase 2 has yet been given, it is unlikely to happen before May. The University, however, is pressing ahead with its vaccine readiness plans so that it can support its own staff and students as soon as it is accredited by the Department of Health and given the go-ahead to do so.

Vaccine Rollout Workstream 

Given the complexities and safety concerns related to the vaccination rollout programme, a university Vaccine Rollout Workstream was formed early in February, comprising stakeholders from all the relevant workstreams across the university.

Logistical Support

The team, as part of the larger Coronavirus Task Team, has been meeting weekly to manage and implement the support needed to become an accredited vaccination site. This includes the provision of special infrastructure and equipment, additional human resources, ICT support in, for example, managing the booking system in line with the national Electronic Vaccine Data System (EDVS); security for protecting the vaccine, as well as safety, health and environment (SHE) support, particularly as it relates to storage of the vaccine and waste management.

This complex and multi-layered logistical support is presently being preceded by an education and training programme.

Education and Training

The establishment of a Vaccination Rollout webpage; the sharing of vaccine and vaccination information online; the hosting of information sharing sessions by professional nurses and of VAX FAX webinars all form part of the University’s commitment to educate staff and students on the subject. This is to enable each person to make an informed decision about vaccination when the opportunity does arise.

Way forward

While there have been no COVID-19 cases at Mandela University among either staff or students for the past four weeks, the virus is still active and there are grave concerns about a Third Wave. Each of us is encouraged to remain vigilant and continue to practice all COVID-19 preventative measures.

Taking the vaccine towards achieving herd immunity (67% of the population) has been touted as the only way to stop the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus Task Team

Vaccine Rollout Workstream

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057
debbie.derry@mandela.ac.za