Teachers urged to be present at schools for vaccine rollout drive

The Munsieville vaccination site in Krugersdorp, Gauteng.
The Munsieville vaccination site in Krugersdorp, Gauteng.
(Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)
  • 582 000 teachers and school personnel are expected to be vaccinated in 10 days.
  • Teachers will be receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • The security cluster is expected to be vaccinated next.

The Department of Basic Education has urged teachers to be present at school as it prepares to begin its vaccine rollout on Wednesday.

"Regular attendance to school will contribute to the successful implementation of the vaccination programme targeted at 582 000 people in the next two weeks. The vaccination programme is an opportunity to normalise schooling and intensify the process of mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on schooling," the department said on Monday. 

The department has ambitiously set out to vaccinate its 582 000 teachers and school personnel within 10 working days. The country received a consignment of 300 000 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine last week.

During a briefing by the acting health minister on the country's vaccination programme last week, Deputy Director-General of Health Dr Nicholas Crisp said the Department of Basic Education was organising transport for teachers to their designated vaccination sites.

At a briefing over the weekend, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said they supported all five recognised teachers' unions and school governing body organisations and called on teachers and communities to get behind the vaccine rollout.

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"For the next two weeks, we make the clarion call to our school communities to 'drop all and vaccinate!'. In order for us to successfully complete this programme, we will need to keep schools open. Any disruptions would be undesirable. We need to work extremely hard and around the clock to vaccinate as many people as possible in our sector. Vaccinating does not mean that we need to stop adhering to the nonpharmaceutical health and safety protocols," Motshekga said.

News24 reported on Friday that the security cluster, which includes police officers, was expected to be vaccinated immediately after teachers.

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