Nzimande formally announces COVID vaccination drive for higher education sector

The sector includes public universities, TVET and Community Education and Training (CET) colleges and private institutions among others.

Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, briefing the media on 30 June 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has announced the formal commencement of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for the post school education and training sector.

He briefed the media on Friday afternoon on the rollout plan.

“I say formal because in several respects, our sector has already undertaken much important work to support the national vaccination drive and protect those individuals within our sector with highest risk of COVID-19,”
Nzimande said.

The sector includes public universities, TVET and Community Education and Training (CET) colleges and private institutions among others.

WATCH: Minister Nzimande on vaccination plans for higher education sector

Nzimande said staff members in rural areas would receive Johnson & Johnson jabs.

"We will be rolling out J&J vaccines across our rural districts as this requires cold storage facilities at higher temperatures than Pfizer and other mRNA vaccines. The vaccination of PSET staff of 35 years of age and above – comprising approximately 70% of all staff in our sector – will formally commence tomorrow, Saturday, 24th July and should be completed within a month."

The sector aims to vaccinate 300 to 1,000 members a day.

"Higher health with the Department of Health and service providers will further open twelve (12) additional sites across Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Gqeberha and eThekwini starting from Monday, 26 July," he said.

Phase 2b of the drive will target staff under 35 years of age.

"Staff younger than 35 and students who live in residences including in private accommodation are earmarked for vaccination in Phase 2b that will kickstart once the above 35s are completed. They will then be followed by our students starting with students in residences and private accommodation and eventually extending to all students as per the Department of Health determined age classification phased programme."

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