Teachers and support staff will begin receiving their much-needed Covid-19 vaccination injections from Wednesday, the department of basic education (DBE) confirmed in a statement.
The vaccination roll-out for teachers will continue until 8 July, a day before schools close to mark the end of the second term.
DBE Minister Angie Motshekga said 582 000 people are set to be vaccinated over the next 10 to 14 days.
This includes school governing body-appointed teachers, teachers employed by independent schools, admin staff, remote learning teachers and staff who transport children to and from school.
Those who do not qualify are people who have had contact with Covid-19 in the past 30 days, anyone who has already been vaccinated, or anyone who has received a flu vaccine in the past two weeks.
Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schafer has urged all teachers to participate in the latest vaccine roll-out, “to assist in making our schools safer and getting back some semblance of normality”.
Third wave beckons
With provinces such as Gauteng and the Free State finding themselves firmly nestled in the toxic bosom of the third wave of Covid-19 infections, experts have warned that the worst was yet to come.
One expert told The Citizen that the third wave has seen a trend of all family members becoming infected, whereas in the first two waves, infections mostly affected individuals.
It is recommended that Covid-positive people be kept away from those who are not infected, in a well-ventilated room and have their own, separately washed eating utensils and bedding while they are in the infectious stages, for at least 10 days of isolation.
To make matters worse, bed capacity is fast running out in Gauteng, while it is still not known when Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, which suffered a fire earlier this year, will open again.
With a number of prominent field hospitals decommissioned while the country was in its second wave of infections, people are urged to adhere to regulations stringently, and to self-isolate should they feel the need, as early as possible.
Compiled by Nica Richards