Debunked: Matrics won't be forced to take Covid-19 vaccine ahead of final exams - education dept

The department will take its Covid-19 vaccination drive to schools through mobile vaccination sites.
The department will take its Covid-19 vaccination drive to schools through mobile vaccination sites.
PHOTO: Jaco Marais/Gallo Images
  • Matric pupils will not be forced to have themselves vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • But the basic education department is encouraging them to do so.
  • The final exams start on 27 October.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has denied reports that matric pupils will be forced to have themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 as their final exams approach.

Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said 18-year-old matriculants are encouraged to take the vaccine, but will not be forced to do so.

He added:

There is no requirement for matric candidates to be vaccinated before being allowed to write exams.

The department could, however, take its Covid-19 vaccination drive to schools through mobile vaccination sites so that the vaccines are accessible to those who are eligible, he said.

Earlier this week, News24 reported that matric pupils were being prioritised for the jabs through a partnership between the Western Cape health and education departments.

READ | Matric exams brought forward due to municipal elections

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said specific arrangements were being made to prioritise pupils at selected vaccination sites. According to the MEC, this has been communicated to schools and the names of pupils, along with their parental consent, will be submitted to school districts.

Vaccination time slots will then be arranged for pupils, accompanied by a school representative at a vaccination site. The districts are also arranging transport.

Matrics will write their exams from 27 October.

The exams were supposed to start on 1 November, but due to a clash with the municipal elections, it was decided to move the exams forward.

English, Business Studies and Non-Official Language Paper 1 will be written on 27 and 28 October.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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