The South African Teachers’ Union (SAOU) has called on teachers not to be drawn into fake news about the coronavirus vaccine and to register to get vaccinated.

The union says vaccines have been shown to be very safe and are also highly effective against the virus.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that her department intends to vaccinate over 580 000 school teachers, admin workers and cleaners at public and private schools over the next two weeks starting from Wednesday.

The employees will be vaccinated with the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, said Motshekga.

SAOU President Chris Kloppers says research shows that the vaccine does work.

Kloppers says: “We know that there’s a lot of conspiracy at this stage. We all need to join hands and reach head immunity or otherwise we are going to sit with this problem for years and we can’t afford that…”

“So our plea is to those who hear naysayers, please reconsider your decisions and take your jabs. I’ve already had my jab,” adds Kloppers.

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) have also welcomed the upcoming vaccination of teachers.

Klopper reacts to basic education’s COVID-19 response plan:

The Educators’ Union of South Africa (EUSA) is, however, not for the idea.

“We categorically reject any vaccine that is still under trial as teachers are not guinea pigs. The
Minister announced a long time ago that her intention is to test waters (with the lives of teachers).
We respond with the highest condemnation possible.

We advise that government considers vaccines from countries that have proven to have successfully dealt with the virus. China and Russia are examples. We further encourage government not to politicise the COVID-19 vaccine procurement as this is not the time to play politics. We trust that the President respond positively,” says the union in a statement.

Motshekga says teachers must be registered with her department in order to get the vaccine.

DBE Minister Angie Motshekga media briefing: