Leaders of teachers unions to receive vaccines on Thursday

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Jun 23, 2021

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The Covid-19 vaccine rollout aimed at vaccinating more than half a million South African teachers and school staff kicked off on Wednesday.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the leadership of the five teachers unions and basic education sector executives will receive their shots tomorrow at Atteridgeville Community Hall in Pretoria.

“I am elated and I am hopeful for the rollout. Tomorrow, the campaign will be laid by union leaders, bringing their members,” she said during a press briefing.

Leaders of all five recognised teachers unions – the South African Democratic Teachers Union, the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa, the National Teachers Union, the Professional Educators' Union, and the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysers Unie – will receive their shots alongside CEOs of various teachers councils.

The Department of Health revealed last week that 300 000 Johnson & Johnson doses have been allocated for those employed in the education sector.

Motshekga said the rollout is set to wrap up on July 8.

“We need two weeks because we don't want to disrupt schooling when we close on the 8th. We want to be done so that when we come back in the next term we are done,” she said.

The Department of Health said that all staff in the basic education sector will not need to register on the Covid-19 Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and that each district will be allocated a number of vaccination sites.

Vaccinations are not voluntary, said the Department of Basic Education, however all staff are encouraged to take the vaccine to ensure the normalisation of the sector. Further announcements will be made in this regard.

Meanwhile, several members of Sadtu in KwaZulu-Natal have already received their Covid-19 vaccinations, including its deputy president, Mabutho Cele.

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