Minister Schäfer warns against abusing the education sector vaccine rollout
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
The rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the education sector got off to a great start last week, and we have received a positive response from those who have already had their vaccine. The numbers will ramp up this week as more sites open in the province.
Given the enthusiasm of so many for getting the vaccine, some have raised concerns about the possibility of individuals abusing the system when they do not qualify. To mitigate this risk, the WCED has put measures in place to prevent this from happening, even in instances where there are problems with EVDS data that needed to be added manually.
Anyone who is aware of someone being vaccinated or trying to be vaccinated under the education sector rollout when they don’t qualify for it should report this to the Safe Schools hotline: 0800 45 46 47. It is of the utmost importance that the integrity of the process is maintained.
Only those who are in fact scheduled to attend a specific site on a specific day will receive their vaccine. No walk-ins will be accepted for the education sector vaccination rollout, and no queue jumpers will be tolerated. If you are uncertain about your date for vaccination, speak to your principal – district officials are communicating directly with them.
It is essential that qualifying staff only go to their designated site on the day that they are supposed to. We have such a short window in which to administer vaccines for our sector, so this must be done in an orderly fashion and requires the utmost cooperation from sector staff.
We do not want to have a scenario where staff arrive at a site and we don’t have vaccines available for them – or that we have to cancel appointments due to a shortage.
We urge those who have not yet received their appointment slot to please be patient. We expect the allocation of slots to be finalised by Wednesday this week. We assure our independent schools – whose data was uploaded later than that of public schools, not by choice of the WCED, but because they were only included later into the programme – that they will receive their appointments timeously and that we will communicate slots to principals directly. We are confident that the rollout will be able to continue until 8 July, despite the early closure of schools announced last night.
I would like to once again thank the provincial Department of Health for their management of the vaccination sites, as well the WCED officials hard at work making sure that the necessary staff data is available.
I also thank all education sector staff that have indicated that they are willing to receive the vaccine, and for their cooperation in ensuring this runs smoothly.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education