As the Covid-19 vaccination programme for teachers and support staff continues until the end of this week, teacher unions said they have been made aware of some challenges with supplies and registration of those not on the Personnel and Salary System.

However, the unions said they have been assured that registration data has now been loaded on to the electronic vaccination data system, and that it is all systems go for the rest of the week.

The five teachers’ unions — the SA Democratic Teachers Union, SA Teachers’ Union, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA, the Professional Educators’ Union and the National Teachers Union — urged all teachers and education support personnel in schools who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said more than 26 000 vaccines had been administered to the education sector as of Monday, with 6 520 vaccinations scheduled for Tuesday.

Hammond said the WCED has been allocated 55 210 vaccines. “We have thus covered over 50% of the allocation and will be nearing the 60% mark by the end of today (yesterday),” she said.

She said the administration of vaccines to head office and independent schools was currently under way, and their metro vaccination sites were administering between 1 000 and 1 600 vaccines a day.

“Over 6 637 vaccinations are scheduled for (today),” said Hammond.

“There was still a great sense of excitement and immense appreciation for the opportunity in the sector.”

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said more than 333 000 teachers and support staff have been vaccinated since the campaign started on June 23.

Mhlanga said Phase 1 targeted 300 000 to be vaccinated within the first 10 days of the programme, and the target was based on the number of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine allocated to the sector.

He said by the end of day one of the sector’s vaccination programme, the basic education sector had vaccinated a total of 48 000 of the phase 1 target.

“By July 1, over 100% (300 052) of the Phase 1 target had been met across the nine provinces or within nine days of commencing Phase 1. 300 052 teachers and non-teaching staff had been vaccinated,” said Mhlanga.

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