Staff and students at Australia’s La Trobe University have been told that if they don’t get vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease it may “compromise” their ability to fulfil their respective obligations for work or study.

The university will “encourage” and support all staff and students to be vaccinated until the end of November, but by early December, anyone attending a campus for any reason is expected to be fully vaccinated, according to a media statement.

“Our goal will be that everyone attending La Trobe campuses who is eligible and able to be vaccinated, is fully vaccinated,” the statement read.

La Trobe said the university will help those with eligible vaccination exemptions to make new work or study arrangements, but for those who “remain unvaccinated by choice,” they may be deemed to be “compromising their ability to fulfil their respective obligations for work or study.”

La Trobe University is based in Melbourne, Victoria, which has recently seen heavy handed police enforcement of strict pandemic lockdown measures during days of protest and unrest in what has been dubbed the world’s most locked down city.

Another Victoria-based university, Monash, with over 95,000 staff and students, has also moved to mandate vaccination on campus.

All staff, students, and visitors are required to get two doses by Nov. 5, the date of which 80 percent of Victoria’s eligible population is expected to be fully vaccinated, according to the state’s new reopening roadmap.

Monash University is also offering staff and students cash rewards to get them vaccinated. Such inducements have been deemed by local politicians as weakening the legal concept of informed concept and amounting to coercion.

In the neighbouring state of New South Wales (NSW), University of Sydney and the University of NSW, two Group of Eight universities, are taking surveys of students and faculty about their attitudes toward getting vaccinated.

A USYD spokesperson confirmed that all Faculty of Medicine and Health students undertaking training in clinical settings are required to be vaccinated.

“The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our greatest priority. We strongly encourage our community to book their COVID-19 vaccinations once they are eligible,” the spokesperson said in an email to The Epoch Times.

“We are currently surveying our staff about vaccination and are working on a plan to safely open up our campus in line with the roadmap released by the NSW Government. As part of that work, we will review if we need to make any changes to our current policy on vaccinations.”

All large universities in metropolitan Sydney are currently considering vaccine mandates for students, according to Professor Barney Glover, the convenor of NSW vice-chancellors’ committee.

Vicki Thomson, chief executive of the Group of Eight, said the group’s universities had not taken a position on vaccine mandates but strongly supported the government’s vaccine rollout.

“Go8 universities are complying with current restrictions but are keen to get students back on campus as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Thomson told AFR.

The NSW state government confirmed last week that hundreds of vaccinated international students will return to the state by 2022.

However, Chinese and Nepalese students are unlikely to be included in the pilot program if they are vaccinated with Sinovac or Sinopharm, which are not approved by Australia’s drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Epoch Times Sydney Staff

September 28, 2021 3:20 am

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