South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has welcomed the announcement that pharmaceutical company, Aspen will within days, provide 300 000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for South African teachers.

It says the doses will come from abroad and won’t be part of the two million doses that they have to destroy at their Gqebera production facility in the Eastern Cape, as a result of contamination in United States factory.

Sadtu Spokesperson, Nomusa Qembi says the move is long overdue.

“Sadtu welcomes the news that there are 300 000 vaccines that have been made available for teachers. And in the education sphere. We are more than ready to receive these vaccines and we have been ready since last week. We have now entered stage three and there’s a rapid rise in infections.”

Sadtu says the option to vaccinate teachers comes at the right time, ahead of the resumption of daily attendance in primary school learners from next month.

The union’s provincial secretary Bricks Moloi said earlier the union will be at the forefront of advocating for teachers to avail themselves.

Growing calls for more vaccination sites in Gauteng

Meanwhile, Gauteng leads the increase in COVID-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths according to officials.

COVID-19 vaccination drives within the province of Gauteng have seen a further 25 sites activated – as the third wave gains momentum bringing the number of sites across the province to 129.