NYAKALLO TEFU and MMADIFEDILE MOFOKENG|
Early Childhood Development (ECD) staff will be part of the 240 000 workforce who will get vaccinated as part of the Social Developments sectors vaccine rollout.
The vaccination drive kicked off on Monday and is set to end on 23 July.
Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu said they anticipated that the vaccine rollout programme will target just over 240 000 workforce throughout the sector.
Zulu said the roll-out plan will enable business continuity of our social services currently in high demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The department has been working with the ECD Inter-Sectoral Forum to ensure that no-one is left behind, given that ECDs remain open whilst schools are closed and practitioners are equally at risk of the contracting the virus,” said Zulu.
According to the department’s spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, the vaccination drive on Monday kicked off in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape provinces.
Western Cape and Limpopo will begin their provincial roll-out on Friday.
The department says the Early Childhood Development (ECD) workforce is inclusive of ECD practitioners and staff who work in the ECD environment.
Zulu said her department has been working with the ECD Inter-Sectoral Forum to ensure that no-one is left behind.
“This includes all ECDs both registered and unregistered with government, including centre and non-centre-based programmes,” she said.
Adding that ECDs were very important given that they remained open while schools were closed.
“Practitioners are equally at risk of the contracting the virus. We want to highlight that.
“It is important to highlight that only those who are registered on the Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System system will be eligible for vaccination, as there is 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,” added the minister.
Oliphant said the department also makes calls upon members of the public to desist from spreading negative information about the vaccine which may cause vaccine hesitancy.
“Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing infection, especially severe illness and death.
“The vaccine reduces the risk of people spreading the virus that causes Covid-19. Covid-19 vaccines are a key tool in ending the pandemic and getting societies back to normal,” she said.