DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has asked teachers to check with the provincial Department of Education before going to their vaccination sites.
The health department had received 69 000 vaccine viles for the first leg of the teachers’ vaccination programme which were distributed among the districts accordingly.
“Some districts finished their phase one programme quicker than others. There is nothing unusual about that. It’s just that some districts will always finish earlier than others. Those districts that have not finished their viles yet for the first phase are still on schedule and will finish in the next two days or so.
“The 57 000 vaccines for the teachers’ second phase vaccination programme will arrive on Wednesday (tomorrow).
“Then those sites or districts that finished their first phase programme earlier will continue with vaccinations.
“Hence we are requesting teachers to check with their authorities first before coming for their jabs.”
On Sunday, the KZN Education Department asked teachers from uMkhanyakude, eThekwini and uMlazi (Pinetown) districts to report to work instead of the vaccination sites on Monday, because doses had run out.
Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi had assured teachers there was no need to panic and that all teaching and non-teaching staff would get their chance to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, according to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, as of June 25, 128 796 health workers had been vaccinated, 402 636 senior citizens, 60 500 teachers under the Department of Basic Education and the number of people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and under the Sisonke Protocol was 592 870. A total of 525 945 senior citizens had registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System and the province had 181 active vaccination sites.
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane recently said the province had not reached the third wave but numbers were increasing rapidly.
She urged people to continue following non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing masks, washing and sanitising hands and physical distancing.
“The problem we have is human resources in nurses, administration, in porters and so forth.
“The KZN executive allowed us to employ in the problem areas. We agree we couldn’t employ all those we needed.
“In the first wave, we employed about 10 000, now it’s 20 000, both in the level of administration, enrolled nurses, enrolled nursing assistants, porters and drivers. We also hired those we would need at vaccination sites.”
Simelane said vaccine producers decided to vaccinate 50% of their own population before selling their vaccines to other countries.
“The South African government cannot vaccinate everyone at once, therefore there needed to be a system about how the vaccines will be divided so everyone can be vaccinated.
“Those at risk are those 60 (years) and above, the others are health-care workers. We assess the risk – who is at risk more than the other?”