Africa-Press – Rwanda. Effective Monday, September 27, some institutions of higher learning will make it mandatory for students and staff members to show that they have at least got the first vaccination of Covid-19 to access their premises.
Others have gone as far as threatening to deactivate students’ portals for those who will be found to have deliberately refused to take the jab, thereby blocking them from accessing any service at university, as a way of expediting compliance.
Recently, the Minister of Local Government announced that soon, the vaccination certificate may become necessary to access different establishments, including places of work in different institutions, to ensure that everybody is safe from the virus. For one month now, every Rwandan aged 18 and above is eligible for vaccination at the various designated sites across the country.
According to an official from the University of Rwanda – which is one of the institutions that will on Monday start necessitating vaccination for access – they are working with Rwanda Biomedical Centre to ensure that students, faculty members and other staff in their upcountry campuses are vaccinated as soon as possible.
At the beginning, the university is applying the vaccine rule on their Kigali campuses, where the inoculation exercise was most intense at the beginning of the campaign.
This is therefore a wake-up call for every eligible citizen to take Covid-19 seriously, and they can only demonstrate this if they turn up for vaccination.
The government has not left any stone unturned to secure doses for citizens, an uphill task given the prevailing ‘vaccine nationalism’ as the so-called rich countries continue to hoard doses beyond what their citizens need.
The government and civil society to ensure more Rwandans – especially the few reluctant ones -buy into the vaccination drive and the places of worship is a good starting point.
A recent meeting between government and senior clerics was therefore a very good initiative because once these are on board, chances of convincing their flock are very high because of the influence they command in our society.
Good enough, there has not been much hesitancy to vaccine in Rwanda and even most importantly, no Rwandan has not been affected by this Covid-19 situation over the past 18 months or so.
Meanwhile, as we continue to grow our numbers of the vaccinated population, it is important that we don’t lose track of the existing measures to avoid contagion of Covid-19 – wearing masks, social distancing and sanitising among others – because it is still very much in our midst.