More than 8,000 students living in Respublica Student Living’s 10 residences across South Africa won’t have to leave their accommodation to receive vaccinations against COVID-19 – because Respublica is bringing the vaccines to them in the country’s first such initiative.
The private student accommodation provider has partnered with Medicare to set up vaccination clinics at each of its residences, offering strictly controlled and carefully administered Pfizer vaccinations to all interested students and staff over the age of 18, in support of the Government’s vaccination programme.
“Having as much of our population vaccinated as possible is the only way that our students are going to be able to return to normality, and to enjoy the full experience of life on campus and in res,” says Bronwyn Boavida, managing director at Respublica Student Living.
“We’ve seen how high vaccination rates in countries like the United Kingdom have made it possible for people to socialise, and enjoy mass sporting, music, and cultural events, and we would love for our students – and every person in South Africa – to enjoy that kind of normality again,” she adds.
Boavida also emphasises the importance of the matric class of 2021 having their vaccinations as soon as they are 18, in preparation for the journey onto the university campus of their choice.
“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is certainly not a condition of admission to any university or to any Respublica residence but being vaccinated protects each student and their family and friends, as well as protecting the whole student body and the staff that supports it,” she says.
“It’s clear that COVID-19 is here to stay, but if we all take proactive steps to protect ourselves, we protect our community – and we can all enjoy the benefit of the truly universal experience of life in tertiary education.” Respublica initiated the programme after conducting a survey among its students and employees, with the overwhelming response being welcoming and supportive. The programme commenced on 6 September 2021, clinical staff will return to all the residences to administer the 2nd shot of the vaccine, 42 days after the first vaccine.