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No Jab, No Class: Varsities in Rwanda Tell Students, Staff They Will Only Have Access With Proof of Vaccination

Several universities in Rwanda have directed students to make sure they have proof of at least one Covid-19 vaccination dose or risk missing out on their studies.

The University of Rwanda (UR) and Mount Kenya University Kigali Campus (MKUR) are among the universities that have urged all students and staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 if they are to be allowed back into the campuses – a directive that is likely to be given to all universities and higher learning institutions.

“This is to inform all staff and students in Remera based campus that with effect from Monday, September 27 only students and staff that have been vaccinated so far, will be allowed into the campus upon presentation of vaccination certificate at least for the first doze,”

“Therefore, the security office is informed about enforcing instructions,” reads a notice signed by Prof. Jeanne Kagwiza, the Ag. Principal, UR College of Medicine and Health Sciences. A similar memo was issued by all Kigali-based UR campuses, with the national university expected to extend the directive to all campuses countrywide.

A notice issued by the student leadership at UR urged all students to make sure that they get vaccinated as soon as possible, providing a form to fill out to get vaccinated. It adds that by October 5, no unvaccinated student will be allowed into the campuses.

Mount Kenya University Rwanda on the other hand took tough measures, pointing out that there has been an ongoing vaccination exercise at the university for students and staff, adding that by Monday, September 27, registration will be put on hold for those who will have not been vaccinated.

“Students are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus. Fully vaccinated means you have gotten both the first and second dose. Students who have not been fully vaccinated (two doses) as recommended by the Ministry of Health must get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid progressive sanctions associated with non-compliance,”

“In this regard, all those who have not been vaccinated or are due for the second dose are requested to be on Campus tomorrow 22nd September, 2021at 8.00 a.m. to get their vaccination,” a notice signed by Dr. John Nyiligira, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Planning and Institution Advancement, reads.

Rwanda has so far distributed Covid-19 vaccines to more than two million people including a million and a half who have been fully vaccinated. They include persons above 18, including university students.

According to the Ministry of Health, over 18 percent of the target population of 7.8 million people (representing 60 percent of the Rwandan population) are fully vaccinated for Covid-19. This is equivalent to 10.8 percent of Rwanda’s total population of 13 million.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije said the Government of Rwanda is looking to acquire more vaccines to reach 30 percent of the target population by the end of the year.

Rwanda has currently received 3,658,310 doses of Covid-19 vaccines through a variety of platforms including COVAX facility, African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT),bilateral agreements and Government direct purchases in partnership with the World bank.

“Government efforts including vaccination activities have reduced the Covid-19 positivity rates from over 10 percent in July and August 2021 to the currently manageable rate of less than 3 percent in September. This has ultimately led to opening up a number of economic activities as surveillance and vigilance continue,” the Ministry said.