Vaccine mandate implemented at university

University of Otago master of botany student Aimee Pritchard, of Dunedin, holds up her vaccine...
University of Otago master of botany student Aimee Pritchard, of Dunedin, holds up her vaccine pass on the first day of the vaccine mandate at the university yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
As its vaccine mandate comes into force, the University of Otago is still working with about 50 staff who are not fully vaccinated.

From yesterday, anyone — including staff, students and contractors — entering university buildings is required to show their My Vaccine Pass.

A spokeswoman said the university was working with about 50 of its 5000 permanent and fixed-term staff who were either unvaccinated or partly vaccinated.

The administration was evaluating each case on an individual basis.

Options included changing duties, working from home, or termination of employment.

The university would ask the small number of staff and students unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines for establishing medical exemption.

The spokeswoman said the vaccine mandate had wide support across the university, with 93% of staff in favour.

The university’s website acknowledged the "matter of vaccines is a divisive one", but explained the goal of the decision was to protect the health of anyone entering its campus buildings.

"Ultimately, mandatory vaccination gives us the safest way to operate the university in a manner that is as close to normal as possible.

"This gives our students, the heart of our institution, the best chance to receive the high-quality education they expect from us."

University of Otago master of botany student Aimee Pritchard was thrilled with the mandatory proof of vaccination requirement.

"I think it’s a fantastic idea. I’m all for it.

"The vaccine protects all vulnerable people."






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