Higher Education Dept To Assist With 18-34 Age Group Vaccinations

Higher Education Dept To Assist With 18-34 Age Group Vaccinations

Now that anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, the Department of Higher Education has stepped in to assist. Vaccination sites are set up at Universities across the country.

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The Department of Higher Education (DHET) has joined in in efforts to increase the vaccination rollout in the country. With everyone older than 18 now allowed to get vaccinated, Universities are encouraging students to go ahead and get vaccinated, some providing sites to do so.

This will be done in partnership with Higher Health, the agency responsible for the screening app used on campuses and who work to promote the health and well-being of students across South Africa’s public universities and technical and vocational training colleges.

Chief Executive of Higher Health, Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia, said:

Your post-school sector is where we have the young people and that's where the young people are in huge numbers. South Africa in general is a young country and Africa as a continent is a youthful continent ... this is the phase where the young people's vaccinations will decide the fate of us as a continent, as a country. Post-school education has to play it's major role.

Universities such as the University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technolody, Rhodes University, Nelson Mandela University and others have vaccination sites set up at their campuses for staff and students to get vaccinated.

Ahluwalia says this is an opportunity for us to tame the virus and destroy what it wants. He, along with Higher Health, has therefore been discussing how they will vaccinate in a youth-friendly way. 

We are working on bringing the vaccines to the young people.

They are therefore preparing to bring vaccines to every campus in the country to vaccinated around 2.5 million young people.

This is also being seen as an opportunity for young people to go back to their families and educate them on vaccines to fight vaccine hesitancy and encourage others to get vaccinated.

Research has been suggesting that a large number of young people are hesitant when it comes to taking the vaccine but Higher Health has ways they wish to respond this:

  1. Peer educators will go around in the post-school sector educating and encouraging vaccinations
  2. Media platforms which explain the science and facts behind the vaccine
  3. Make vaccines more youth-friendly and accessible to young people

Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has said, "The number of young people who have registered for the covid-19 vaccine and the positive response online is commendable. Getting vaccinated is not only an investment in society’s health but also in our nation’s economic recovery efforts."

The Department therefore encourages all eligible students and staff to take the opportunity which is being presented to them to get vaccinated.

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