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Wits University has released a framework in efforts to make vaccines mandatory for student. The University has now received some negative reactions to this proposal.


Following the Cabinet’s approval for the vaccination of people aged between 18 and 35 years from 20 August 2021, South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is expected to increase drastically.


The Department of Basic Education was expected to finish its vaccination programme of teachers on 8 July 2021. The two weeks’ timeline for vaccination of teachers started on 23 June 2021 but there are new developments, read further for more.


It has been said that as of Wednesday, the 30th of June, the vaccine rollout for independent school teachers has been moving swiftly despite initial delays in the vaccination schedule as a result of unregistered educators.

 


Like any vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild short-term side effects. Most reactions to the vaccine are mild and will go away on their own.


Vaccines are used to protect against the spread of COVID-19. They contain weakened or inactive parts of a disease that triggers an immune response in the body.


The Department of Basic Education released a statement that revealed how many school staff were vaccinated in two days. They stated that in the last two days, over 105 000 teachers and school staff have been vaccinated in South Africa.


Even though reports of increasing COVID-19 cases in schools rise, it is still unclear when teachers will receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.

 


As the country fights the third wave of COVID-19 and primary school learners prepare to return to full-time contact learning, there are requests for teachers to be prioritised for the vaccine.


With the vaccine rollout going smoothly, the South African Democratic Teachers Union, better known as SADTU, is questioning government's processes. They want government to not only do more but to also prioritise the vaccinations of teachers.


University of Cape Town Professor, Lydia Cairncross, was part of the first South Africans to get the Covid vaccine. Higher Health held discussions on including medical students who are working in hospitals in the first phase of the vaccine rollout.


Plans were in place to start vaccinating health workers against Covid-19 possibly as early as this week. However there has been some bad news about the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine - the specific vaccine that South Africa received 1 million doses of this week. Now all the plans are being reconsidered.


Schools in the Eastern Cape might be used for vaccinations to be administered. The first batch of vaccines is expected to land in South Africa in less than a week.


While South Africa awaits the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize provided updates on the rollout of the vaccines saying research is being done into the efficacy of the vaccines for the new variant of Covid-19. 


The Higher Education department and institutions is now preparing for the reopening of Universities in March while we still live alongside Covid-19. The Department is also preparing institutions to support the vaccine rollout.


On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his national address that the country has secured 20 million coronavirus vaccines. 


The effects of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic saw less children getting their routine vaccines, as the movement of South Africans were restricted. Parents are encouraged to get these vaccinations up to date as soon as possible. 


Amid the rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa despite the adjusted alert level 3 lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa hints that a national address will be taking place soon. 


In response to criticism that the government has been too slow in securing vaccines for the country, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has briefed the public on his department's work over the last few months to buy and then distribute Covid-19 vaccines to two thirds of the country.  Although the first vaccines are scheduled to arrive sometime in the second quarter of the year, he is hopeful that this can be brought forward to February.


In efforts to fight against the second wave of the coronavirus in SA, a new cohort of health workers is set to assist the healthcare system in the New Year. 

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