Despite 41 educators and support staff in the Northern Cape having already died from Covid-19 thus far, the roll-out of the vaccination of educators in the Province started on a smooth note.
DESPITE 41 educators and support staff in the Northern Cape having already died from Covid-19 thus far, the roll-out of the vaccination of educators in the Province started on a smooth note.
The Department of Education said a total of 735 vaccinations were done on the first day of the roll-out.
Teachers in Frances Baard district yesterday queued at the Newton Primary School in Kimberley to get their Johnson and Johnson jab.
Some teachers indicated that they felt taking the vaccination was the responsible thing to do as they not only want to protect themselves but also those around them.
A teacher from Kgabang Primary School in Ritchie, Yoliswa Jiya described the entire process as painless.
“We came to Kimberley early this morning and waited patiently to get our vaccination. The waiting period was about one hour but it was due to the different processes one has to complete before the vaccine gets administered. We first had to start by the register and then had to wait to be screened. Our blood pressure was also taken and then finally we had to answer some basic medical questions before getting the jab,” she said.
Jiya said although she was at first hesitant to get the vaccine, she will encourage her colleagues to get their jab.
“I was at first afraid to get the vaccine, however my aunt spoke to me and made me see that it will be the responsible thing to do.
“I will definitely tell my colleagues how easy the entire process was. Our staff members made a roster with a rotating schedule for when the next group must travel to Kimberley to get the vaccine. That is to ensure that teaching and learning is not interrupted. I also do not have any side-effects and was instructed by the medical staff on site to wait about 15-minutes in order to be monitored. The people who administer the vaccines are very professional and do their work diligently,” she said.
Another teacher from Vuyolethu High School in Galeshewe, Clinton Marthinus indicated that he was heading back to the classroom after he had received his jab.
“I only came to get vaccinated and will be reporting back to duty afterwards,” said Marthinus.
Marthinus also described the process as painless.
“None of us are forced to get the vaccine. We are all doing it out of our own choice. This process is necessary as we have to all stand together and fight this virus,” he said.
The department said it was very pleased with how the vaccine programme commenced.
Department of Education spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe said although the Northern Cape has recorded the lowest number of vaccination nationally, the Province does have the lowest number of staff complement compared to the other provinces.
Van der Merwe said there are almost 30 vaccination sites where teachers can get their vaccine.
“We have established 29 vaccination sites across the Province. We currently have 16 vaccination sites fully operational and the other 13 sites are scheduled to open on Thursday, June 24 and June 25, 2021,” he said.
He urged educators who may be hesitant to take the vaccine to overcome their fears.
“This programme is aimed to safeguard the lives of our educators and support staff at schools against Covid-19.
“This pandemic has had a huge negative impact on the learning and teaching environment in schools and our recovery plan requires educators and support staff to be at schools on a daily basis.
“We believe vaccination will contribute immensely to creating a conducive environment and more stable teaching and learning environment during these difficult times. We trust that more educators and staff will rather choose the route of vaccination,” said Van der Merwe.