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Teachers should be higher on SA's vaccine priority list, says Naptosa

11 January 2021 1:12 PM
Tags:
Schools
Teachers
Basil Manuel
Naptosa
COVID-19
vaccine rollout
vaccine strategy

Teachers union Naptosa says the government should include teachers in the first group that will receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Naptosa's executive director Basil Manuel says teachers don't appear to be high up on the Covid-19 vaccine priority list.

Last week Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that South Africa would be receiving one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccinein January and 500,000 doses in February.

Healthcare workers will be the first group to be vaccinated when the vaccine is delivered from India to South Africa.

Manuel argues that teachers are at a greater risk of exposure to Covid-19, especially in high schools, because the new Covid-19 strain is more prevalent among teens and young adults.

RELATED: AfriForum: SA government can't have monopoly on Covid-19 vaccine distribution

He says South Africa's economy can't afford for schools to be closed due to Covid-19 infections.

Schools provide education and childcare so that the economically active population can fully restart the economy, Manuel explains.

RELATED: 'More info needed on how SA govt will fund first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccine'

He says the government needs to give teachers assurances that they will not be disregarded during the vaccine rollout.

Naptosa is of the view that government can't afford, neither can the country as a whole afford for schools to be closed or children not to be at school.

Basil Manuel, Executive Director - Naptosa

It is the schools that keep the economy going because without schools being open, parents have serious difficulty doing the things that make the economy work.

Basil Manuel, Executive Director - Naptosa

We [teachers] are part of that group that should be looked at in the first group.

Basil Manuel, Executive Director - Naptosa

We are very happy that the very first group should be healthcare workers because they are the real frontline workers. However, educators can't be way back [on the priority list] and not mentioned at all.

Basil Manuel, Executive Director - Naptosa

We want the plan to be relooked at so that teachers could be part of that core group.

Basil Manuel, Executive Director - Naptosa

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11 January 2021 1:12 PM
Tags:
Schools
Teachers
Basil Manuel
Naptosa
COVID-19
vaccine rollout
vaccine strategy

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