WCED has achieved 84% of its target as teacher vaccinations comes to an end
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Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said it has achieved 84% of its target number of vaccinations, with nearly 46 000 education sector staff members vaccinated, as the roll-out programme in the basic education sector came to an end.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer's spokesperson Kerry Mauchline said they have been overwhelmed with positive responses from across the province, regarding the professionalism, friendliness and efficiency of health workers at the vaccination sites.
Mauchline said, for the most part, the process ran very smoothly.
"We had some challenges with the cold and rainy weather, and with staff arriving at sites at a time other than their scheduled appointment.
“The WCED has yet to collate how many staff there are in the sector, overall, who did not take up the offer. We worked on a consensus basis: we asked schools to submit names of staff that have consented to taking the vaccine and have scheduled them accordingly,” she said.
Department of Basic Education (DBE) spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said more than 500 000 teachers and staff have now been vaccinated in the sector, since the roll-out began on June 23, with the initial target being 582 000.
SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial chairperson Jonovan Rustin said they have been encouraged by the amount of vaccinations that took place in Western Cape.
Rustin called on the departments of Education and Health to make an assessment, if there was anyone who fell through the cracks during the process.
"We are aware that there are some teachers who did not want to be vaccinated and that we need to have a vaccine programme among teachers, especially the ones who have not been vaccinated, to understand the benefit of being vaccinated and the safety of the process," said Rustin.
National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) executive director Basil Manuel said the union has been happy with the vaccination program, although they had few administrative glitches, and that mainly had to do with the non-teaching staff who were employed by the government bodies.
Manuel said the stakeholders are expected to meet on Saturday to get the final figures. However, he said they were ecstatic that they managed to pull it off.