#UnrestSA: DBE has a plan for school staff who could not get a Covid-19 jab due to riots

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Teacher Faseega Solomon from Manenberg High in Cape Town gets a jab.
Teacher Faseega Solomon from Manenberg High in Cape Town gets a jab.
Gallo Images/Brenton Geach
  • The basic education department says teachers and support staff will still have a chance to be vaccinated if they couldn't due to unrest.
  • A total of 525 000 education workers were vaccinated.
  • Basic education minister Angie Motshekga previously said they did not expect to vaccinate 100% of its personnel because of hesitancy and other factors.

Teachers and support staff who could not get the Covid-19 vaccine due to the riots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal will still be afforded an opportunity to do so, says the Department of Basic Education.

Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said 525 000 education workers had been vaccinated so far.

The department initially set itself a target of vaccinating 582 000 workers both in public and private institutions.

These included food handlers, hostel staff and grounds personnel.

READ | Lockdown: Public schools to reopen a week earlier because of early closure

Explaining why other staff had failed to vaccinate, Mhlanga said: "The rest did not because of various reasons including [illness], Covid positive cases, pregnancy, and relocation due to school holidays and of course ordinary hesitancy. We are, however, pleased that the priority group is covered."

The department's drive concluded last week Wednesday. But it ended with hiccups in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as riots hit certain areas. 

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga last week said the department did not expect to vaccinate 100% of its personnel because of hesitancy and other factors, but it was pleased because the numbers were high.

READ | #UnrestSA: Government tallying vaccines, other medication looted in Gauteng and KZN

News24 previously reported that about 90% of private school teachers had been vaccinated

"The Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) will automatically reschedule appointments for those unable to attend; it is programmed to reschedule up to two missed appointments," the department said. 

KwaZulu-Natal managed to vaccinate 113 000 education workers. The province, which was largely affected by the unrest, was allocated 127 000 doses. 

"Our educators will now go as ordinary citizens [to vaccination sites]," KZN basic education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said. 

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