The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, spoke on Friday and announced that vaccinations for the higher education sector will begin on Saturday. Government has been working on this rollout for a year already.
Finally, it’s been announced that the Higher Education sector will soon begin it’s vaccination rollout.
Vaccinations of PSET staff who are 35 years old and above will start on 24 July and they aim to have it completed within a month. They make up 70% of all staff in the sector.
During a briefing on Friday afternoon, the Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, said:
It is my pleasure to announce the formal commencement today of the Covid-19 vaccination programme for the post school education and training sector (PSET).
Pfizer vaccine doses will be used across institutions in major metropolitan areas and Johnson & Johnson will be used in rural districts.
The Minister went on to say that some individuals in the sector have already been vaccinated and work has already been done.
The PSET sector’s vaccine rollout is being done in partnership with Higher Health. They have collected information on around 250 000 staff members within the sector to be vaccinated.
This rollout will cover public universities, TVET Colleges, Community Education and Training (CET) colleges, private institutions, skills learning sector, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), National Skills Fund (NSF) with a range of skills development providers.
This strategy will give PSET staff access to vaccines, including academia, management, postgraduate students who are in teaching positions, frontline staff at residences, cleaning and security personnel and other support staff.
The department and Higher Health will also make effort to mitigate vaccine hesitancy and fake news as they encourage anyone who becomes eligible to get the vaccine to take the chance to get vaccinated. Vaccines have been proven to be effective and safe, says Nzimande.
Our vaccination programme extends and deepens our comprehensive sectoral contribution to the Covid-19 response, which has been developed and supported by Higher Health since the beginning of the pandemic in South Africa.
On 8 July 2021, Nzimande announced that he had instructed Higher Health to create and coordinate a PSET vaccination strategy and rollout plan.
Some Universities and TVET Colleges in South Africa have vaccine sites set up at campuses already and there will be external sites being used for this rollout as well. Additional vaccination sites will be opened across the country by Higher Health.
Staff younger than 35 and students who live in residences and private accommodation will be vaccinated in Phase 2b of the rollout which will take place once those 35 and above are done being vaccinated.
Eventually, vaccinations will then be extended to all students, in accordance with the Department of Health.
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