Petition Against Mandatory Vaccinations At Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University Council,

We stand against Stellenbosch University Council's decision to create new university regulations, to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory.

Signing this petition does not mean that we are anti-vaccine, It means that we believe that people should make their own decisions regarding medical procedures.

Hence follows reasons for and against taking the vaccine, as well as constitutional arguments against a mandate from a government institution. Whether people choose to take it or not, however, is not the primary question, but rather it is whether the University should mandate vaccine use.

Reasons to take the vaccine:

Covid Vaccines have been shown to radically reduce both hospitalization and death rates. There is, however, the debate over their efficiency regarding infection prevention. Vaccines clearly work to radically reduce the risk of those who have taken them.

Reasons not to take the vaccine:

At the same time, there are reasons not to take it. The vaccine is only 18 months old. There have been no long-term studies into potential side effects. Also, students attending Stellenbosch University are almost all under 30, an age group that is already at very low risk of hospitalization or death. New studies also suggest that third shots or regular booster shots may become necessary for a fully functioning vaccine. There is also debate about the effectiveness of natural immunity over the vaccine and how long antibodies may last. 

This is also the important difference between COVID vaccines, compared to other vaccines e.g. measles. These vaccines have decades of research behind them, have very few breakthrough cases and do not require a booster shot (The measles vaccine requires one shot at 12-15 months and another between 4-6 years).

 

The suggestion is that there are good reasons for and against taking the vaccine from a medical perspective, however, this must remain each person's individual choice.

 

Constitutional issues with mandatory COVID Vaccination:

Section 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa gives everyone the right to freedom and security of the person.

Section 12(1)(a) states; persons shall not be deprived of their freedom arbitrarily or without just cause.

Section 12(2) states; Everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the rights to-

Section 12(2)(b); security and control over their body;

Section 12(2)(c); not be subject to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.

Mandatory vaccinations violate a person's right to exercise control over their body and their right to bodily integrity.

In the case of COVID vaccines, it also subjects people to a medical experiment without their informed consent, as the drug is only 18 months old, and we are currently unsure of the extent to which it has long-term side-effects.

Section 9 Grants the right to equality;

S9(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or
social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
S9(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
S9(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair.

The university, by implementing vaccine mandates, is discriminating against those who do not wish to take the vaccine. Is it fair discrimination to force unwilling participants to take an experimental drug? and if they choose not to, to disallow them from attending the university?

Perhaps most importantly, Section 2 of the Constitution, the right to human dignity. Forcing people to take a drug that they do not wish to, violates their dignity. Section 2 in also not a limitable right.

Question to SU (Stellenbosch University):

According to Wim De Villiers, the SU Rector, the universities policy is that vaccines are safe and save lives. If this is the case, and the vaccine makes you safe, then why does someone else who does not want to take the vaccine have to be forced to do so?

If vaccines are safe and effective, then why do other people also have to take them to make you safe? If you want to be protected, get vaccinated.

If vaccines are not safe and effective, then it is any person's choice whether to take a drug that is ineffective and has no long terms studies.

The argument is not that vaccines are ineffective, but rather that, regardless of their effectiveness, the choice to take them remains a personal one. People have the right to take a potential risk and not take the vaccine.

As a second question: Where exactly does the buck stop? What if, as many studies now suggest, booster shots become necessary for the effectiveness of the vaccine? Will the University mandate the use of booster shots as well? What exactly will be the limit on the universities power in this regard?

Finally, what accountability will the university take for people who suffer side effects or potential long-term effects from the vaccine? What accountability will the university take for students, who have studied towards a degree, who will have to give up their studies because of this requirement? Will the university reimburse them?

The University is a government institution. To permit it to mandate vaccines would be to hand over our constitutional right to choose. What lies next if the precedent is set that government institutions may remove our rights?

 

 

Sources:

Stellenbosch University Council's Decision to mandate that regulations are written regarding mandatory vaccines by 2020:

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/covid-19-stellenbosch-university-considering-mandatory-vaccination-20210928

https://www.iol.co.za/news/covid19/stellenbosch-university-tables-mandatory-covid-19-vaccinations-for-students-and-staff-d7c07400-488a-4775-84c3-783d0d155321

IMG20211003113301.jpg

Vaccine Effectiveness Studies:

 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037e1.htm

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2108891

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2021/09/13/the-game-is-not-yet-over-and-vaccines-still-matter-lessons-from-a-study-on-israels-covid-19-vaccination/


Reuben Jansen van Rensburg    Contact the author of the petition

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