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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Wrong vaccines sent to Gauteng teachers

NYAKALLO TEFU|

The Gauteng Education Department (GDE) says there is an area in the South of Johannesburg where the wrong vaccines were delivered for educators.

Wednesday marked day one of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine rollouts for educators across the country.

“There is an area in the South where they are assisting adults over the age of 60 and they are using the Pfizer vaccine, unfortunately due to a communication breakdown they were delivered to the site where educators are being vaccinated,” said GDE MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi.

Lesufi said the situation has however been attended to and rectified.

In the next two weeks, more than 125 000 teachers and non-teaching staff are expected to receive their first jab of the J&J vaccine.

“Of that total, 71 726 are educators at Gauteng public schools, 24 492 are non-educators such as clerks, food handlers and teacher union staff.

A total of 10 488 School Governing Body appointed educators and Grade R practitioners in public schools are also eligible for the shots,” said Lesufi.

READ: Western Cape starts teacher vaccination

Lesufi said the remainder 19 678 is made up of educators from Independent Schools.

The vaccine drive will end when schools close on 8 July 2021.

Lesufi was the first to get vaccinated on Wednesday before the educators in Gauteng at Rabashoto community hall in Tembisa.

“It is not compulsory but we highly recommend that educators get their jab, so we want to ask all our educators and staff that they take advantage of this opportunity of a lifetime so that the entire sector can be protected,” said Lesufi.

National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa’s (Naptosa) Basil Manuel said the vaccination of teachers has started off very well and they are happy.

“We are pleased by the large turnout for the vaccination, there were some glitches in some provinces but those were eventually sorted out,” said Manuel.

Manuel said they were not aware of the wrong vaccines being sent to one of the centers in Gauteng but are certain that was dealt with accordingly.

“There has been a bit of unhappiness because remember we only have 300 000 jabs while we wait for more, so some provinces have said all the state paid educators must come first and others to follow,” added Manuel.

Manuel said they have however explained how the process will work and they understand.

“We are happy with progress made at all our 60 sites in Gauteng as no major glitches were reported besides a few challenges that were quickly attended to,” said Lesufi.

READ: All systems go for the basic education vaccination programme

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