The Northern Cape Education Department remains confident that it will meet its target of vaccinating 16 100 people in the education sector. This is as the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Kimberley got off to a slow, but smooth start.

The department says it is targeting all public and independent schools.

Newton Primary School is one of the 29 sites earmarked for vaccinations around the Northern Cape.

Pinky Otsheleng, a teacher from Retlameleng Special School, is among those who were first in line to receive a Johnson and Johnson injection.

“Actually I was sceptical at first but I just told myself just go and do it so I did it. I feel happy,” says Otsheleng.

The Provincial Department of Health says it has received 7 200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the education sector and is expecting more. The South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (Sadtu) has urged members to take advantage of the vaccine roll-out program.

“We appreciate that our call has been responded to that the teachers are now being vaccinated in the province and we are happy they are here, they are being vaccinated,” says Sadtu Provincial Secretary Palesa Nqumashe.

In the video below, the Northern Cape government outlines its vaccination plans :

Northern Cape schools have felt the brunt of the pandemic with at least nine of them still closed due to COVID-19 infections. Northern Cape MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali says they hope for more employees to come out to vaccinate.

“This pandemic is having a negative impact on the education system in the province, we are closing schools, our teachers are getting sick, the only hope that we have for now to try to normalise the education sector is by the vaccination process,” says Monakali.

Those who are not already in the system of the Education Department are urged to register via the Electronic Vaccination Data System as there will not be onsite registration.

Minister Angie Motshekga encourages teachers and support staff to get vaccinated: