Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand will introduce a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students and staff living and working in halls of residence.
In a media release, the university states that students who want to live in one of the university’s halls of residence must show a COVID-19 proof of vaccination in order to be able to move into rooms or in the halls which are expected to open in February 2022.
As per staff who work in the halls, they will also be required to show evidence that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 10, 2022, Erudera.com reports.
“Arrangements for students who provide evidence that they meet the Ministry of Health guidance as being unable to receive any approved vaccination on medical grounds will be discussed with those students on a case by case basis,” the university’s press release reads.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford said that the decision comes after a detailed risk assessment, adding that halls of residence provide a 24/7 living environment and students are close to each other and close with members of university staff who work or live at university’s accommodation.
Guilford further stressed that measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 and reduce the risk of infection are already effective at the university; however, he pointed out that the university’s risk assessment has shown that a higher level of protection through vaccination is necessary, especially as the Delta variant has hit New Zealand.
“We are satisfied that given the living environment in our halls of residence, mandatory vaccination for those residing and working there is the right response to the existence of COVID-19 in the community,” Guilford said.
Victoria University of Wellington is also considering making vaccination mandatory for contractors, external providers of maintenance, and others who work in halls of residence.
Together with its Student Health and Counselling Service (Mauri Ora) running a vaccination clinic on its Kelburn campus, the university has been supporting a vaccine rollout across New Zealand and three days of walk-in vaccinations. During one of the three days, the focus was the vaccination of Pasifika students and their family members.
Victoria University of Wellington is one of the oldest universities tertiary institutions in New Zealand, which was established in 1897.
So far, the number of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand is 5,213, a total of 4,395 people have recovered, while the country has recorded 28 deaths.