Vaccine hesitancy persists as vaccinations for teachers comes to an end

The avid researcher said instead of contributing to herd immunity, she'd rather be part of the 10% who won't get immunised.

An Education Department employee gets a COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Rabasotho community hall in Tembisa on 23 June 2021. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Wednesday is the last day of the education sector's special COVID-19 vaccine drive and while the Department of Basic Education has managed to reach hundreds of thousands of teachers and support staff, it's still troubled by widespread vaccine hesitancy.

With the third wave of COVID-19 infections ramping up nationwide and teachers potentially being in contact with dozens of children every day makes them a particularly vulnerable group.

So why would anyone refuse the opportunity to jump the vaccine queue? A Cape Town teacher spoke to Eyewitness News on Tuesday and said: “No thanks. We have to equip ourselves intellectually, so that we don't become a herd of cattle, or a herd or flock of sheep," she said.

The 57-year-old Life Orientation and English teacher has been in the classroom for the past 35 years.

She has hypertension, and has managed to avoid contracting COVID-19 so far.

She believes it’s because she's strict when it comes to implementing health safety rules.

The avid researcher said instead of contributing to herd immunity, she'd rather be part of the 10% who won't get immunised.

"I've always been a critical thinker, so I'd much rather go the route of prevention."

She maintains she's done her homework, and that it's far too soon to be taking the jab.

"The vaccinations, they were being trialed, they're being researched, tested and administered all at the same time which makes me quite frantic about how safe it is."

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