More than 238 000 educators, as well as support staff in the basic education sector, have received their COVID-19 vaccine in the first week of the rollout.
According to figures from the Department of Health, 238 315 educators and staff have now been vaccinated in the sector since last Wednesday.
In a statement released on Wednesday (June 30), the Department of Basic Education expressed confidence that all the eligible people identified for the vaccination programme will receive their Johnson & Johnson vaccine as planned.
The Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has been visiting provinces to assess progress on the rollout of the vaccine.
She has also used this time to encourage teachers and support staff to get vaccinated as part of the country’s response to the pandemic.
“Last week when we received the first 300 000 doses, we requested provinces to plan for the roll-out of the 300 000 vaccines. Now the Department of Health has assured us that all the vaccines we requested have arrived and that there will not be any shortages,” the Minister said.
The basic education sector has identified 582 000 educators and staff to be vaccinated by 8 July 2021.
The number of people vaccinated is set to increase significantly when all provinces intensify the programme following the delivery of additional doses to sites and the early closure of schools for the June holidays.
“We are confident that Thursday and Friday will help us to ramp up because we will not have learners to look after as they close today. So teachers should come in their numbers to get vaccinated. Of course all safety protocols must be followed,” Motshekga said.
The department has urged all educators and staff to follow the schedules in each district in order to ensure the smooth rollout of the programme.
“I really want to encourage our teachers to take this opportunity to vaccinate. We have to try make our schools safer places so that we don’t infect learners and that they don’t infect us but also make sure that as educators and staff we are protected. We have lost a number of educators and we don’t want to lose anyone of us,” the Minister said.