Update: Pleasing increase in Mandela University vaccination numbers


More than 53 percent of Nelson Mandela University staff have been vaccinated, according to figures gleaned from the national Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS).

Staff vaccinations

This encouraging news, however, comes as the University received confirmation of another staff death. This brings the total loss of staff members to COVID-19 to 20. Two students have also passed away due to the pandemic.

The University extends its condolences to the family, friends and work colleagues of this staff member and others whose loved ones have died in recent weeks as the third wave of the pandemic saw the total number of deaths pass the 88 000-mark in South Africa. 

As at 8 October, 1837 staff members had been fully vaccinated. Once an additional identified 398 staff members have had their second jab, then 64% of Mandela University staff will have been vaccinated. This augurs well in terms of achieving herd or population immunity of 67% and a longed-for return to some semblance of normality on our campuses.

Student vaccinations

The uptake of the vaccine by the University’s 29 000-student body, however, is proving more difficult to gauge as the institution’s IT vaccination system does not link directly to the national data base. (Occupational Health Services staff physically tracked down all staff members via their ID numbers but such a laborious task is not possible with limited resources to trace all 29 000 students).

(All staff and students then are encouraged to upload their vaccination information to enable us to provide a more accurate tally of numbers).

To date, the University has, however, vaccinated 3044 of its own students on campus, with its outreach efforts of taking the vaccine directly to the students living in off-campus residences beginning to gain traction. Tokens of appreciation are now be distributed in a lucky-draw format to acknowledge students’ support in saving lives and moving towards a more engaged way of living and studying again.

Education opportunities

Recent engagement sessions with students to understand why there is vaccine hesitancy among the 18 to 34 age group, indicated a need for information to be shared directly by credible sources. Student Health Services is offering these mask-to-mask sessions when visiting the student residences.

Please also watch the recent successful George Campus webinar in which a doctor from the Western Cape Department of Health responded to student questions about the vaccine.

Another opportunity has been created by the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber with South African global health specialist Prof Salim Abdool Karim to share around COVID-19 vaccine myths and truths on 20 October from 10.30 to 11.30am. Contact functions@nmbbusinesschamber.co.za to indicate your attendance.  

TVET colleges

The institution’s commitment as a vaccination destination for its own staff, students and the public, has been further extended by assisting with the national Vooma Vaccination drive and by vaccinating students from TVET colleges in their accommodation across the Metro. The Faculty of Health Sciences’ mobile clinic, the Zanemphilo truck, is also being deployed to help with the vaccination rollout programme.

Vaccination Rollout Workstream