Educators would be happy to know that 300 000 vaccines allocated to them will be fast-tracked and rolled out within a space of 10 days.

Educators were supposed to receive their jabs on 8 June, however, this process was halted after an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) investigation in the US found that the Johnson& Johnson vaccines, brought to South Africa, was contaminated.

EDUCATORS TO RECEIVE 300 000 JABS

Dr Nicolas Crisp, Deputy Director in the National Department of Health, confirmed that 300 000 doses of vaccines would be administered to teachers around the country. According to Crisp, vaccinating teachers has become urgent to beat a short expiry date on the vaccine.

About 582 000 from both the private and public sector constitute the education sector that required the jabs. However, some of the teachers in the sector over 60-years-old were already vaccinated.

“The 300 000 rollout is designed with a major thrust that should be done within 10 working days. All provincial health and education departments are focussing on [the] vaccine of educators present. The 300 000 obviously won’t vaccinate all of the sector.”

Fortunately, the next consignment of vaccines, due sometime next week, which also has a short expiry date, will cover the sector he said.

He informed teachers that the programme rolling out vaccines to educator was “specific” and different to other programmes rolled out in the country. It is, therefore, imperative for educators to follow the processes that the department of education will relay to them.

This rollout confirmation will be a relief to educators as schools in certain parts of the country have seen huge infection rates.

TWENTY GAUTENG SCHOOLS CLOSED DUE TO INFECTIONS

Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed that 1 000 educators and 2 000 learners tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty schools were shut down on Thursday in the province. Irate parents at some schools in Gauteng reportedly attempted to close down schools.

“The department is monitoring these developments. We are much concerned about the numbers that we are seeing because as you know it is over 1 000 educators testing positive and just above 2 000 learners testing positive and so it is quite concerning but we are working very closely with the department of health to manage in our space,” said Mabona.

“Like as we normally say, we are expert-driven and so we take advice from them. We are monitoring [the situation at school] very closely as a department and ensuring that all our schools, work very closely with the department of health so that they [can] advise on what to do,” he added.

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Presh JM Reporter

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