Scholar transport drivers, school cleaners and general workers over 40 first in line for vaccination

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
School cleaners, scholar transport drivers and general workers over the age of 40 will be first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine.
School cleaners, scholar transport drivers and general workers over the age of 40 will be first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Image: 123RF/PAY LESS IMAGES

School cleaners, drivers, general workers and food handlers above the age of 40 are among those to be first in line to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the public education sector.

This is according to a presentation made on Friday to teacher unions by the acting director-general in the department of basic education, Granville Whittle.

The plan which is expected to kick off with 500,000 Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine jabs as soon as an approval awaited from the US medicine regulator, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issued.

The approval is expected to be issued anytime this week, a move which will also clear the way for the SA government to scale up its mass inoculation drive.

Basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga declined to comment on the matter on Monday, saying no official announcement had been made on this by the health department which will be managing the vaccination programme.

Sowetan has, however, established that Whittle told the unions that each district in the country will be allocated one vaccination site.

The department of health is in the process of finalising the location of the vaccination site for teachers, according to Whittle's presentation .

The department of health has indicated that Free State and Eastern Cape will use a hybrid of fixed and mobile vaccine site, while other seven provinces will be using fixed sites, the teachers were told.

As soon as the J&J vaccines are cleared by the FDA, a circular will be issued  by the department of education to provinces on the vaccination plan.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize's spokesperson Dr Lwazi Manzi said the department will soon make an announcement at an appropriate time, but that at this stage they were still  waiting an approval from FDA on the J&J vaccine.

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