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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Current country-wide riots impact education sector vaccination drive


The Department of Health said on Tuesday that anyone who cannot get their vaccination due to the ongoing protests in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal can schedule it for another day.

This is because of violent protests in both provinces where citizens are looting shops, damaging public property and closing roads.

The Department of Basic Education last week announced that the vaccination drive for educators across the country would be extended to Wednesday, 14 July.

“The extension will enable the sector to vaccinate more people but also to mop up where some sites experienced some technical challenges resulting in delays,” said Minister Angie Motshekga.

The vaccination drive for educators started on 23 June 2021.

READ: Teacher vaccination programme extended

The minister said in the past few days, they have seen an increase in the number of educators wanting to be vaccinated.

The Department of Health said the vaccination drive of educators will not be affected currently due to the protests happening.

“Anyone who had been scheduled to be vaccinated at sites in districts or areas that are affected by the unrest are advised to defer their vaccination,” said National Health Department Spokesperson, Popo Maja.

Maja said if it is not clear whether an area has been affected, the public is advised to contact the vaccination site to which they have been scheduled before proceeding to the site for the administration of vaccines.

“The Department will publicise a list of affected areas and sites as soon as it is available,” said Maja.

Adding that the Electronic Vaccine Data System will automatically reschedule appointments for those unable to attend. Maja said the system is programmed to rescheduled up to two missed appointments.

Minister Motshekga said they have been monitoring vaccination sites across the country.

“We did so because we appreciate the fact that we were prioritised and we really wanted everybody who qualifies to be vaccinated,” said Motshekga.

READ: DBE minister addresses vaccine hesitancy

The department of health said some pharmacies and medical centres have been looted and stock has been stolen.

“The public is warned not to buy any medicines offered for sale by anyone other than registered medical practitioners, pharmacies or hospitals,” said Maja.

Wednesday 14 July is the last day for teachers across the country to receive their vaccine.

“The extension of the programme will also allow those who had missed the opportunity to get jabs initially to be vaccinated,” said Motshekga.

So far, the number of teachers vaccinated stands at 437388, out of 582 564 educators and staff who are yet to be vaccinated.

When the vaccination drive commenced for educators, 300 000 doses were allocated to be administered over a period of 10-days.

More vaccines were then delivered to the country as 582 000 educators were to be vaccinated.

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