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Vaccination of teachers to continue despite early recess

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The vaccination of teachers in the Northern Cape will continue even though schools will go on an early recess.

File image. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

WITH 175 new Covid-19 infections recorded in the Northern Cape schools this past week, the provincial education department has indicated that the vaccination of teachers in the Northern Cape will continue even though schools will go on an early recess.

The department said 3 129 vaccinations had been administered since the roll-out of the vaccination programme on June 23, 2021.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe said the continuation of the vaccine programme will give the department a head start once the new term commences.

“Although the initial phase of vaccinations was earmarked for those aged 48 and above, we have dropped the age restrictions in order to ramp up our vaccinations.

“Even though schools will go on early recess, the vaccination programme will continue to give us a head start at the beginning of the new term.

“The vaccination is voluntary, but we want to sincerely urge our educators to take the vaccine and overcome possible hesitancy, as this is currently the best chance we have to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“This programme is aimed to safeguard the lives of our educators and support staff at schools.

“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,” said Van der Merwe.

He said several schools in the Province had lost out on learning and teaching due to infections at schools.

“Currently, we still have 10 schools in the Province that are closed due to Covid-19 infections.

“During the past week we recorded 175 new positive cases, which includes 32 educators and support staff as well as 135 learners. We call on all school communities to work with the department to curb the spread of the Covid-19 in our schools, by ensuring that they are vaccinated,” he said.

He urged everyone in the education sector to get their jab.

“The process of vaccination is thorough and our vaccinators are caring and empathic, ready to answer all health concerns regarding the Johnson and Johnson vaccination.

“We are confident that the vaccination programme will contribute immensely to create a conducive and more stable teaching and learning environment during these difficult times. We trust that more educators and staff will choose the route of vaccination,” said Van der Merwe.