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Social development staff to get jabs

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Professionals and support staff in the Department of Social Development will from Monday, 19 July, 2021 have a chance to get their Covid-19 vaccine as part of the National Vaccine Rollout Plan.

File image. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

PROFESSIONALS and support staff in the Department of Social Development will from Monday, 19 July, 2021 have a chance to get their Covid-19 vaccine as part of the National Vaccine Rollout Plan.

The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Sisulu said the department has targeted over 240 000 staff members who will receive the jab.

“Recently, the Department of Social Development, in partnership with the Department of Health, has been working hand-in-hand to ensure the social sector is prioritised for the vaccination roll-out.

“Given the work we do as a sector, through our daily interaction with the public in fulfilling our mandate of serving the most vulnerable, we had to prioritise our front line workers.

“In total, we anticipate that this vaccine roll-out programme will target a workforce of more than 240 000 throughout the sector.

“This will enable us to continue with our business in social services which are currently in high demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Sisulu.

She said two provinces will however start with their vaccination roll-out at a later stage.

“The Western Cape will start its vaccination programme on July 22, 2021 and Limpopo will start its programme the next day, July 23, 2021.

“All provincial MEC’s in the sector have been briefed on the readiness of the implementation of the vaccine programme. Provincial, district and local task teams in the social development department and health department have been established to assist all members in the sector,” she said.

She urged all employees in the sector to get their jab.

“The roll-out plan will include frontline workers in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and staff, all social service professionals which includes social workers, auxiliary social workers including student social workers who are currently doing fieldwork, community development practitioners and frontline staff working in social development facilities, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), the National Development Agency (NDA) and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (Sacssp).

“We encourage the staff to get vaccinated as it is for their own safety even though vaccination remains voluntary,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu said only those who are registered on the department of health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) will be eligible for vaccination.

“This is not a paper-based registration process at vaccination sites,” she said.