Thursday, 24 June 2021

Pretoria: The Department of Basic Education says it is satisfied with the first day of the vaccination programme in the basic education sector, which saw more than 48 000 educators and staff vaccinated.

According to the preliminary report from the Department of Health, more than 48 000 educators and staff were vaccinated on the first day of vaccination on Wednesday.

“This figure excludes the Western Cape and Limpopo, which will start administering the vaccines in earnest on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

“The Western Cape only recorded about 30 people as vaccinated for the purposes of the launch.

“Limpopo didn’t vaccinate [on Wednesday] in line with their plan. The province will vaccinate over two weekends, starting this Friday and Saturday, and will then conclude next week Friday and Saturday,” the department said in a statement.

According to the department, all other provinces started rolling out on Wednesday, with KwaZulu-Natal vaccinating the largest number, with the lowest number vaccinated in the Northern Cape, which decided to send mobile teams to some of their smallest towns to kick-start their campaign.

The department reiterated its call to educators and support staff to adhere to the schedules given by the district offices.

“Strict adherences to health and safety protocols is paramount at all vaccination sites. The vaccination has no age limit for all members of staff and educators in the sector,” the department said.

It also noted that fake news played a major role in some of the challenges experienced on day one of the vaccination.

This includes a WhatsApp message circulated in some provinces, claiming that the Department of Health was going to run out of vaccines, and this led to a rush in some vaccine sites, particularly in the Eastern Cape, North West and Free State.

“The Department of Health has enough doses to cover the target population. Additional doses are on the way to South Africa, and government will be able to conclude the basic education programme within the 14-day period,” the department said.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the leaders of all five teacher unions will be in Atteridgeville on Thursday to monitor the vaccination programme.

The union leaders and chief executives of the entities in the sector are also expected to be present at the Atteridgeville Community Centre.