Students in residence on the Edgewood campus received their COVID-19 vaccination on the same day that Mrs Sisana Machi, Interim Director of the UKZN Department of Students Residence Affairs, got hers at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Gauteng.
The Edgewood students, accompanied by Residence Life Officer Mr Teboho Hlao, were vaccinated at the designated site on the Westville campus. Three Residence Assistants (RAs) Mr Johnson Mthembu, Mrs Precious Khawula and Ms Malerato Jafta, also received their jabs – the first RAs on campus to do so.
Said Hlao: ‘At the moment students are not allowed to have visitors in their residences which is inconvenient and stressful although necessary in terms of the COVID-19 restrictions. If a large number of students got their jabs that restriction could perhaps be relaxed or even lifted. No sport is being played at present but again depending on how many students have the vaccination that restriction could be relaxed and that also applies to physical training exercises.
‘The general opinion among RAs is that with the DSTV service suspended because of COVID-19 and the other restrictions in force, students are suffering and taking mental strain.
‘The three RAs made a bold decision to be among the first to get vaccinated so their example may encourage a lot more students to get vaccinated,’ he said.
Said Khawula: ‘Students must get vaccinated, we need our lives back – we need to have our year-end programmes before we go into the field next year.’