By Kaya 959
Thousands of teachers around the country were inoculated against the COVID-19 virus at various vaccination sites set up around the country.
In Gauteng, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, said more than 125 934 workers in the education sector in Gauteng are expected to get vaccinated in the 10 days between 23 June and 8 July.
“Of that total, 71 726 are educators at Gauteng public schools; 24 492 are non-educators such as clerks, food handlers and teacher union staff, among others.
“A total of 10 488 School Governing Body-appointed educators and Grade R practitioners in public schools are also eligible for the shots. The remainder – 19 678 – is made up of educators from independent schools,” Lesufi explained.
Speaking during the first day of the drive, he said coronavirus infection numbers were increasing in schools.
“You will see that it is very important that we protect our educators. Every learner comes from a family and goes back to that family and you don’t want the child to be carrying the virus to the family. If you can protect the children; you can protect everyone,” he said.
A few hiccups
Lesufi said there were hiccups with the start of the roll-out however, those were quickly attended to.
While vaccination is voluntary, the Department of Health highly recommends that all those in the sector get vaccinated more, especially those with comorbidities.
Lesufi slammed media reports alleging that some teachers were given the wrong vaccines.
He said some of the sites allocated for the vaccination of the education sector workers in Gauteng also administer the vaccine under the Health Department’s campaign to vaccinate those over the age of 60.
“For the record, the education sector workers are being inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson single dose jab; while the over-60s campaign is being rolled out using the Pfizer vaccine,” he said.
The miscommunication which took place related to the delivery of the vaccine to the incorrect section at the correct site; and the matter was swiftly resolved before any vaccine was administered to any of our employees.
Further, those who contracted COVID-19 in the past 30 days; those who were vaccinated using another vaccine (Pfizer or using J&J under Sisonke); and those who vaccinated for flu in the past 14 days are not eligible for the jab.