Motshekga wants to extend vaccination period as more staffers are added

The Department of Basic Education said while they initially targeted 582,000 people in the sector, they had now added over 789,000 staff including food handlers, janitors, and support staff from independent schools and ECD centres on the EVDS system.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Wednesday said she would ask the Department of Health for an extension to complete outstanding vaccinations in the sector.

Since the start of the rollout two weeks ago, 400,000 educators and teaching staff have received their jabs.

The deadline for all staff to be vaccinated is Thursday, however, the education sector's target will not be met and has been pushed to Friday.

The Department of Basic Education said while they initially targeted 582,000 people in the sector, they had now added over 789,000 staff including food handlers, janitors, and support staff from independent schools and ECD centres on the EVDS system.

Minister Motshekga said since Tuesday, they had been finalising data and confirming with provinces that all the additional people could be vaccinated.

“I do hope that between tomorrow and Friday, we would have dealt with some of the backlogs,” she said.

She added that the department wants to use the time to conclude the programme properly and also accommodate those excluded in terms of the criteria outlined by the Department of Health.

These are the individuals who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and those who took the flu vaccine.

“There are figures that come from the computer but then others, the vaccinations are loaded. So, we hope that by Friday or Monday, we'll have a clear picture as to how many teachers have been vaccinated,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Department of Education said more than 6,500 vaccinations were scheduled to be administered to the education sector on Wednesday.

The WCED has been allocated just over 55,000 vaccines and on Tuesday, surpassed the 30,000 mark.

"It really is full steam ahead. And we're just immensely proud of what our teams have achieved and the dedication of our staff as well as the provincial Department of Health in making this all happen. It is one step but it is a major step towards recovery in the sector," said the department's Bronagh Hammond.

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