COVID-19 vaccination of educators and staff in the Western Cape
Statement by Bronagh Hammond, Director Communication, Western Cape Education Department
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is delighted that the National Government has secured additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single dose COVID-19 vaccine for the education sector, including independent schools. These doses have now been approved and are earmarked for rollout on 25 June 2021 in the Western Cape.
The announcement has brought great joy to the education sector as we celebrate the news that the rollout has been expanded to include all educators and non-teaching staff at public and independent schools, as well as all district and Head Office staff at the WCED.
This is an exciting and much welcomed development.
The Western Cape Department of Health (WCDoH), in collaboration with the WCED, intends to roll out the vaccination programme from Friday, 25 June 2021, utilising 29 vaccination sites around the province. DBE has indicated that the Western Cape will receive approximately 55 200 vaccines.
This afternoon, the Head of Department, Brent Walters wrote to schools updating them on the planned rollout.
Given that public schools have already registered the staff members who have consented to the vaccine, the majority of the work to prepare for this rollout has been concluded. However, teachers and staff that have not yet registered must contact their principal to get their details and consent submitted.
The WCED will, however, liaise with independent schools to conclude arrangements for their vaccination process. A process will be put in place for Head Office and district office staff to indicate their consent.
As indicated by DBE, the following persons do not qualify to be vaccinated:
- any person who has contracted COVID-19 in the past 30 days;
- any person who has been vaccinated using another vaccine (Pfizer or J&J, under Sisonke); or
- any person who has received a flu vaccine in the past 14 days.
Schools are to still register the details of those staff members who are unable to attend due to having contracted COVID-19 in the past 30 days or having recently received the flu vaccine, as they will have the opportunity to be vaccinated until 08 July 2021. Any official who is not vaccinated by 08 July 2021 will become part of the normal sequence of vaccinations (age focused) as announced by the National Department of Health.
District offices will begin contacting schools this week, informing them of their school’s vaccination schedule.
The WCED is confident that it will have a positive impact on the education sector. This is not only a major step towards recovery, but also a step towards improving the safety of our educators and staff and the provision of better learning opportunities for our learners.