The South African government has fast-tracked the vaccine rollout for teachers and staff at schools across the country. Educators and staff of schools will begin receiving their COVID-19 jabs on Wednesday 23 June in a two-week push project aiming to administer 582,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
Teacher Vaccines Fast-Tracked
Fast-tracking the rollout for teachers and schools staff is a major step in managing the country’s school system that has become embattled since the pandemic began in earnest. Thousands of teachers have succumbed to COVID-19 since March of 2020, and students have been living in anxiety of school closures and from having to learn from home for a year and a half now.
The rollout to the education sector will start with 300,000 doses of the J&J vaccine, with a further 282,000 arriving before the end of June. This specialised rollout will be managed by provincial authorities.
Staff at schools won’t have to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), instead, their personal details will be automatically obtained via the Personal and Salary System (PERSAL) and uploaded by provincial school management teams.
8 July is the date that the vaccination drive is expected to be completed by, the day schools in South Africa close before the mid-year holiday. The achieve this, an average rate of around 42,000 daily doses needs to be observed.
Business Insider reports that a total of 281 vaccination sites will be set up to accommodate teachers and school staff, with most provinces using fixed locations.
KwaZulu-Natal has the largest share of fixed vaccination sites. The Eastern Cape and Free State will use a hybrid model which includes mobile sites reaching remote and rural areas in the province.
Uber South Africa Offers 100,000 Free Rides to Teachers
“We are asking that teachers make their own transport arrangements to get to these sites but we’re also saying to schools that when it is difficult to access these sites on their own that they make a plan to ensure those teachers get to those sites,” explained South Africa’s Department of Basic Education’s acting director-general, Dr Granville Whittle.
Uber South Africa, the country’s leading e-hailing service has offered 100,000 free rides to get teachers to and from vaccination sites, says Dr Whittle.
“These will obviously be made available in the metros and we’re hoping to make a further announcement about the details of that particular process.”
Teachers arriving at vaccination sites in South Africa will need to present their ID documents, contact details, and the details of their medical aid (if they have one).