The vaccination rollout programme in the basic education sector came to an end on Wednesday, with more than 500 000 educators and staff having been vaccinated.

However, while the programme has concluded in the sector, those who could not make it to the vaccination sites for various reasons are still able to get vaccinated.

“We urge all our teachers and support staff to get vaccinated so that when schools open, we focus on recovery. We will not have another opportunity to give people time off to go vaccinate when schools open. It is better to do it now before schools reopen,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Vaccinations in the sector began on 23 June 2021. The initial target was 582 000.

The department said it is aware that some personnel live and work in areas affected by the current unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Department of Health has also advised that anyone who had been scheduled to be vaccinated at sites in districts or areas that are affected by the unrest must defer their vaccination.

The Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) will automatically reschedule appointments for those unable to attend, as it is programmed to reschedule up to two missed appointments.

The Minister said if possible, those in the affected areas should get vaccinated elsewhere, but she emphasised that the number one priority is “keeping safe at the moment”.

Motshekga visited the vaccination site at the Midrand Fire Station on Wednesday morning, where she got her second Pfizer vaccine.

“I am encouraged with the work done. I thank all the officials from the Department of Health. They were very helpful.

“I think we have done very well. To be told that we have vaccinated more than 80% of personnel in the sector is good news indeed. We did not expect 100% because of [vaccine] hesitance and other factors, but the numbers are high, and we are pleased with the achievement”.

Source: South African Government News Agency