Social workers, ECD practitioners to get the jab
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SOCIAL workers, teachers and officials at early childhood development (ECD) centres and staff in all social development units will be vaccinated from Monday.
This was revealed by the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu on Saturday when she gave a detailed plan to launch the national vaccine roll-out plan for the social development sector.
Zulu said the national vaccine roll-out will kick start on Monday in all provinces except in the Western Cape, where their programme will on July 22.
“All provincial MECs for Social Development have also been briefed on the readiness of the implementation of the vaccination programme in all provinces, with national, provincial, district and local task teams between the Departments of Social Development and Health established to assist all members of the sector,” Zulu said.
She said over the past few days the departments of Social Development and Health have been working hard to ensure that the social development sector was prioritised for the vaccination roll-out during the current phase, given the work that they do through their daily interaction with the public in fulfilling their mandate of serving the most vulnerable in society.
“In total, we anticipate that this vaccine roll-out programme will target just over 240 000 workforce throughout the sector, and this will enable business continuity of our social services currently in high demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Zulu said.
This vaccination roll-out plan will include front line workers in the following categories:
• The ECD workforce – This is inclusive of ECD practitioners and staff who work in the ECD environment. The department has been working with the ECD Inter-Sectoral Forum to ensure that no one is left behind, given that ECDs remained open whilst schools are closed and practitioners are equally at risk of the contracting the virus. We want to highlight that this includes all ECDs both registered and unregistered with government, including centre and non-centre-based programmes;
• All social service professionals – This includes all social workers, auxiliary social workers, student social workers who are currently doing fieldwork, child and youth care workers, child and youth care auxiliary workers and is inclusive of all social service professionals in the public, private or NGO sectors;
• Community development practitioners employed by the Department of Social Development; and
• Front line staff working in the Department of Social Development across the republic, including at all social development facilities, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the National Development Agency (NDA), and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).
Zulu said it was important to highlight that only those who were registered on the Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) system would be eligible for vaccination, as there was no paper-based registration process at vaccination sites.
Details of all vaccination sites, provincial and district coordinators, including the ECD forum coordinators, will be published on DSD national, provincial departmental and the departments’ agency’s websites.
Members of the sector may also send enquiries to [email protected]
Members in the sector are reminded that when going to the various vaccination sites they would need to carry with them:
• ID or Passport;
• Employee card; and practice card or receipt in the case of registered practitioners;
• Medical aid cards for those who are on any medical aid; and to ensure that they have an updated cellphone number which must be provided to the healthcare professional at the vaccination site in order to ensure that they receive further communication directly from the Department of Health.