South African teachers to be vaccinated from Wednesday

With the arrival of 300,000 doses of J&J’s vaccines last week, attention turns to education sector.

Announced by Angie Motshekga, the minister of Basic Education over the weekend, over 582,000 education staff will be afforded an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from Wednesday, the 23rd of June until the 8th of July – a day before schools close at the end of the second term. About 300,000 doses earmarked for teachers arrived in the country on Friday, and additional doses are expected this week. Urging all educators and school staff to register to receive their vaccines, Motshekga confirmed all adults working in public and independent schools such as teachers, admin staff, cleaners and those responsible for driving kids to and from school will have an opportunity to be vaccinated should they wish, irrespective of age.

According to Motshekga, those who had contracted COVID-19 in the past 30 days would not be allowed to get vaccinated, along with anyone vaccinated for flu in the past two weeks. To date, around 1.5 million people have received at least one vaccine. The country’s vaccination programme was dealt a blow after it lost out on two million doses stored at an Aspen Pharma plant in Gqeberha, after the US Food and Drug Administration declared them unsuitable for use due to possible contamination of the ingredients at a facility in the US. However, this is expected to be made up in the coming weeks. With the next batches of 700,000 and 500,000 expected before the end of June, the police, soldiers and prison warders are expected to be next in line for vaccinations.