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Nzimande in talks to have health sciences staff, students vaccinated

With the first million doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected at the end of this month, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that the higher health initiative must develop a phased approach towards vaccinating all staff, students and volunteers.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande at a media briefing on 18 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that he was in talks with the Health Department to ensure that health sciences students and campus healthcare staff in the sector’s higher health initiative were vaccinated along with healthcare workers in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The minister was addressing a panel of specialists, as well as various stakeholders, in the Higher Education sector in a webinar on managing the second wave of COVID-19 within institutions.

Nzimande said that as academic institutions prepared to open, various challenges waited ahead, including a highly transmissible new COVID-19 variant, increased infection among all age groups, especially the youth and widespread fatigue among frontline healthcare workers.

With the first million doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected at the end of this month, Nzimande said that the higher health initiative must develop a phased approach towards vaccinating all staff, students and volunteers.

"The post-school education and training education vaccination strategy will developed a phased road map towards vaccination of all front line and essential staff, student and staff volunteers, student support structures as well as staff and students living with co-morbidities across all our campuses. Having more than 2 million students and staff, they become a very important sector, given the vaccination campaign."

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