Parliament’s Select Committee on Education says general workers in schools should also be vaccinated against COVID-19 together with teachers.
The Committee says it has noted the progressive stance taken by government and the Basic Education Department to roll out vaccines among educators.
Committee Chairperson, Elleck Nchabeleng, says it’s important to also vaccinate security guards and other personnel that work in schools. He says the vaccination of educators might seem slow but it is a crucial intervention by government. Nchabeleng says about 50 000 thousand educators, including union leaders, were vaccinated on Wednesday.
Teachers who have been vaccinated at the Pietersburg hospital in Polokwane, Limpopo, have expressed relief after receiving the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccination.
Teachers in Limpopo happy they have received vaccines:
The province plans to vaccinate more than 38 000 teachers and support staff by the end of this weekend. Authorities say the remaining 22 600 individuals will get their vaccinations when Limpopo receives its second batch of vaccines. Teachers say they are happy to have been prioritised.
“I was helped by another sister. So after vaccinating me she said I should wait outside for 15 minutes. I waited there, it’s not painful. It doesn’t give me anything. I’m fine now, I’m leaving, I’m going home. I’m happy thank you,” says one educator.
“I vaccinated, it was not painful. But when the needle gets in you will just feel a little bit of something, just to feel that something is getting in. But I don’t have any after-effects. I haven’t felt anything. It went very well. We are going to work with enthusiasm because we know that the government has our interest at heart,” says another.
Meanwhile, Limpopo’s Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has assured workers in the education sector of the efficacy of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
“Some people were saying we are giving teachers Johnson and Johnson, the efficacy, percentage, compared to Pfizer. I got the very same Johnson and Johnson. The same health workers I’m talking about, received the Johnson and Johnson, they are here at work. So let’s be honest, spread this message that vaccination does help. Yes there’s no vaccination that will stop you from being infected, but all our vaccines will help you not to get sick, they will help you not to get hospitalised.”