USP will have ‘No Jab, No School’ policy

The University of the South Pacific (USP) has adopted a ‘No Jab, No School’ policy across the region for 2022.

Manager of Public Relations and Communications under the Office of the Vice Chancellor and President of USP Fiji, Natasha Ravindra, says University was forced to create such a policy in the wake of the global pandemic reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.

“USP established this policy in response to the governments of our member countries afflicted by COVID-19 across the country that institutions must adhere to strong COVID laws in order to prevent the spread of COVID,” Ravindra explained.

An email circulated by the Director of Emalus Campus, Andrew Mackenzie, to his staff relayed that more repatriation flights to Vanuatu are expected this month and students need to be protected.

“The only protection is for us all to ensure that we are up to date with vaccinations. I note that USP has instituted a policy to exclude students and staff from campus who can not provide proof of vaccination.

“We will be following this policy by asking you all to bring your Covid vaccination card to campus and register. Details will be forthcoming,” it read.

The Chairman of the Scholarship Board, Collin Natoga, weighed in on the topic and said the University of the South Pacific’s decision to adopt and implement this policy was inevitable, as Vanuatu will not be able to keep its COVID-free status forever.

“(If not vaccinated) They can’t go to school, can’t fly, for me, in the future this will be regulated and it will be the norm so we have to prepare to meet these challenges,” he said.

Chairman Natoga added that it should not be a surprise if these policies were also adopted by high schools in Vanuatu once a vaccine for teenagers is made available.