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Bypassing EVDS 'nightmare' will help push 10-day vaccination blitz for teachers

18 June 2021 10:34 AM
Tags:
SADTU
Johnson & Johnson
vaccine
EVDS
J&J jab
teacher vaccinations
vaccinating teachers

Early Breakfast host Africa Melane chats to Sadtu's general secretary Mugwena Maluleke about plans to vaccinate educators over 10 days.
  • The Health Dept plans on vaccinating nearly half a million educators in 10 days starting next week Tuesday (22 June)
  • Teachers will receive their Covid-19 jabs irrespective of their age
  • 300,000 J&J vaccine doses are arriving today and more vials are expected in the coming weeks
  • Teachers union Sadtu says it's hopeful that the department will achieve its 10-day target with the elimination of EVDS registrations and the use of schools as jab centres

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Teacher unions are breathing a sigh of relief as the vaccination programme for educators is expected to begin across South Africa next week.

The 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines that will start arriving in SA on Friday are earmarked for teachers, school governing body members, and other education sector staff.

The expiry date of the doses was extended after authorities determined that the J&J vaccine can be stored in 2-8 degrees celsius (normal bar fridge) for 4.5 months instead of 3 months.

The Health Department says that more J&J doses are expected to arrive in the coming weeks after 2 million jabs had to be destroyed as a safety precaution.

The plan is to vaccinate 499,000 educators within 10 days starting on Tuesday 22 June.

RELATED: Teachers will only get J&J vaccine if FDA announces jabs are safe, explains prof

Teachers union Sadtu says the vaccine will be a welcome relief to teachers.

Sadtu's general secretary Mugwena Maluleke says the union is confident that the Department of Health (DoH) will achieve its 10-day target after removing the tedious vaccination process from the equation.

Teachers will not have to individually register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) portal.

Instead, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will upload teacher data from the sector's Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) database onto the EVDS, Maluleke explains.

Despite the slow pace of the overall vaccine rollout, he says Sadtu is hopeful that the teacher vaccinations can be completed within 10 days.

RELATED: Union concerned about DBE's ability to manage full-time return to primary school

He says the use of schools as vaccine sites and the aid of vaccinators from both the private and public sectors should help fast-track the process.

Maluleke has thanked the public for rallying behind teachers who have been calling to be prioritised for months.

We have eliminated the nightmare of administrating the issue of registration... Between the Department of Health and Education, they've agreed that they will use the EMIS data which has been uploaded to the EVDS, and that in itself has really provided enough information to the DoH to use the schools as the centres of vaccination.

Mugwena Maluleke, General Secretary - Sadtu

The 10 days is possible to do that as long as they deploy enough capacity to go to those particular centres because then the teachers don't have to leave their workplaces to have to go and queue in a centre where vaccination is being done but it would done in the school.

Mugwena Maluleke, General Secretary - Sadtu

We are aware of the slow pace that has been taking place. We just hope that there would be no other technical problem around the vaccines as they arrive in the country today and next week.

Mugwena Maluleke, General Secretary - Sadtu

For us, it gives us hope that we can protect the future of the children because we are facing a generational catastrophe in terms of the time that has been lost to teaching and learning,

Mugwena Maluleke, General Secretary - Sadtu



18 June 2021 10:34 AM
Tags:
SADTU
Johnson & Johnson
vaccine
EVDS
J&J jab
teacher vaccinations
vaccinating teachers

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