Thousands Of PSET Sector Staff Have Been Vaccinated
The Higher Education sector rolled out vaccinations to thousands of Post Schooling education and training sector staff since the commencement of the vaccination rollout on 24 July 2021.
The rollout of vaccinations to the Post School education and training sector has seen thousands of its staff getting vaccinated.
This is since the commencement date, 24 July 2021, of the rollout announced by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande. According to Nzimande the vaccinations of the PSET staff of 35 years of age and above who make up 70% of all staff in the sector should be completed within a month.
According to the Minister, Pfizer vaccines have been rolled out in higher education institutions in the major metros where there is no access to cold storage facilities. While Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be rolled out in the rural districts "as this requires cold storage facilities at higher temperatures than Pfizer and other mRNA vaccines," said the minister.
Nzimande said that the reason they were opening the vaccination programme up to people aged 35 years and above is because this was a guideline from the department of health.
"We can't do something that is outside of those guidelines," he said.
Once those aged 35 years and above are vaccinated the Higher Health CEO Ramneek Ahluwalia says that the younger staff members and students in residences and private accommodation will be vaccinated.
"Our sites are dedicated full time on higher education. We are sharing them with the community, but...they will be fully dedicated higher education sites," Ahluwalia said.
"Staff younger than 35 and students who live in residences including in private accommodation are earmarked for vaccination in Phase 2b that will kickstart once the above 35s are completed.
"They will then be followed by our students starting with students in residences and private accommodation and eventually extending to all students as per the Department of Health determined age classification phased programme,"-Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande.
In preparation for the vaccination drive, Higher Health collected information from approximately 250 000 workers across the sector. These workers included staff from public universities, Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) and Community Education and Training colleges, private institutions skills learning sector, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), and National Skills Fund (NSF).
Provisions were made with sites dedicated to vaccinate 300 to 1 000 people per day.
The Minister said that 12 additional sites were set to be opened and extended to 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.
Nzimande has urged all those who qualify for vaccines to get their jab in order to save their lives and the lives of those around them. This would be critical in South Africa's goal of reaching herd immunity against Covid-19.
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