Kia ora koutou,
Following the Government’s announcement to end the requirements for vaccine passes, the University of Canterbury Council has withdrawn the University’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy.
This means that from 11.59pm on 8 April 2022, a My Vaccine Pass will no longer be required to attend UC campuses or take part in face-to-face University managed activities.
There will be exceptions to this, particularly for University activities where Government vaccine mandates still apply. Certain students on placement in the health and disability sector will still be required to be vaccinated and to have received their booster in accordance with the Government legislation. The University will continue to collect this vaccination information from those specified students as required by law.
If you live in a hall of residence, vaccination mandates remain in place. The University’s accommodation providers are reviewing their vaccination policies and risk assessments with their advisors and are expected to confirm any changes before the start of Term 2.
The decision to remove the University’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy signals a change in the assessment of the current risk to the University community. Modelling suggests that, for those who are fully vaccinated or boosted, there is only a small reduction in risk as a result of continuing to prevent unvaccinated people from coming to campus. This is because of a combination of reduced (although non-zero) effectiveness of vaccines against the Omicron infection, relatively fast waning of immunity against infection, and the build-up of significant immunity from prior infection in the UC community. However, staff and students need to remain mindful that Covid-19 is still circulating in our community and should continue to wear a mask, stay home if unwell and regularly wash our hands.
We understand this change could cause feelings of uncertainty for some of you, particularly if you are immunocompromised. Contact your student advisor for any specific needs. It’s important to look after yourself and others during this time, so check out the online wellbeing hub where there’s a wealth of information covering anxiety and stress and mind and body.
We are almost at the end of term 1, having negotiated our way through the start of the year as Covid-19 has moved through the country. It’s been tough, but together we have managed to overcome the challenges presented. I encourage you to make time for some rest and relaxation over the April break and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus for term 2.
Ngā mihi nui,
Kaihautū Matua Pūmanawa Tangata | Executive Director of People, Culture and Campus Life