Taking the vaccine to the students


Nelson Mandela University is taking the vaccine to the students.

A pilot project introduced last week to make access to the vaccine easier for students by taking it to both on and off-campus residences is now being rolled out to accredited student accommodation across the Metro.

As at 20 September, 1671 vaccines had been given to Mandela University students. (This does not include those vaccinated outside of the University’s initiatives).

The “take-it-to-the-students’” project by Student Health Services is one of many initiatives in response to an initial low uptake by students at the institution, a phenomenon that is being mirrored nationally in the 18 to 34-year group.

This outreach project is being carefully managed with all the supporting COVID and vaccine protocols in place.

Better together

The University can only return to some semblance of normality by achieving herd or population immunity (67% of us need to be vaccinated), and hence its ongoing encouragement to both staff and students to take the jab.

Residence vaccination requests

Residence managers are encouraged to contact studenthealth@mandela.ac.za or call  041 504 1149 to make arrangements for the Student Health Services team to visit.

Zanempilo mobile clinic

The University’s mobile health clinic, Zanempilo, will also be deployed to smaller residences and sites where there may be privacy challenges.

A schedule of these visits will be communicated directly to residence managers so that students can be alerted to the opportunity.

Student Vaccination Centre

The Student Vaccination Centre on North Campus, and the George Campus site open on Tuesdays only, are continuing to operate, as is the one to staff and the public. Students can simply just arrive with some form of identification to get their jab.

Question and answer opportunities

In addition to the on-site vaccination visits, the University is also preparing a programme of educational visits by health professionals to various residences.

These sessions are aimed at giving students the opportunity of learning first-hand about the vaccine, given the many fears expressed by students in recent engagement sessions.

Student engagement

This candid sharing by students as to why they were reluctant to take the vaccine indicated an increased need for vaccine education, particularly from credible sources in a mask-to-mask environment.  The University’s health professionals are presently training student wellness champions and will then embark on the Q&A sessions.

Webinar, website and social media

In the interim, students are encouraged to watch the myth-busting webinar hosted by George Campus last week in which questions by students were answered by medical experts.

The University’s vaccination rollout page  is full of credible information, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and our social media platforms are continuing to provide credible information, including short clips of students’ own vaccination experiences.

Vaccination Rollout Workstream

Student Vaccination Team