By Kaya 959 News
Prospective Grade 1 learners do not need to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Gauteng Department has reassured parents that the vaccine is not part of the vaccination report requested for school admissions.
“The Gauteng Department of Education wishes to clarify the issue of a ‘vaccination report’ being one of the documents required for prospective Grade 1 learners during the 2022 Online Admissions application period,” the department’s Steve Mabona said.
He said the ‘vaccination report’ mentioned in the 2022 Online Admissions presentation does not refer to the COVID-19 vaccination.
“Instead, it refers to an immunisation card which is a record of immunisations (inoculations/injections) and growth rate given to mothers when their infant is born and it’s used to monitor the development of the child until they are 5-years-old,” Mabona explained.
Immunisation card needed for registration
He said the department is aware of the confusion that might have been caused by using the term ‘vaccination’ instead of ‘immunisation’.
Mabona said although these terms are related in that they both involve inoculation/injection, the GDE agrees that they carry different meanings, especially within the context of the current pandemic.
“We urge parents/guardians who will be applying for their children for Grade 1 in Phase 2 to upload or submit their child’s immunisation card accordingly,” Mabona said.
Currently, children in South Africa do not need to be vaccinated.
According to the South African Medical Research Council, COVID has a less severe impact on children.
While parents have expressed concerns at the re-opening of schools amid the third wave, the South African Paediatric Association has strongly recommended that children return to school.
“COVID-19 will continue for the foreseeable future, with infection rates increasing and decreasing in waves. Children are much less likely than adults to become severely ill with COVID-19 and are also less likely to transmit coronavirus to their contacts,” the association said.