DURBAN – Almost 50 000 teachers have been inoculated nationwide during phase two of South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme this week, almost half of them in the KwaZulu-Natal province, officials said.
The figure excludes the Western Cape and Limpopo provinces which are scheduled to begin vaccinations from Thursday and Friday respectively, the national department of basic education’s spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement on Wednesday.
KwaZulu-Natal managed to vaccinate 22 424 teachers on Wednesday with the Johnson & Johnson shot, the province’s health department said.
According to basic education’s Mhlanga, the national department of health has enough doses to cover the current target population, with more doses on the way to South Africa.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and teachers union leaders were due to conduct an oversight of vaccinations on Thursday in Atteridgeville, a township just west of the capital Pretoria.
“All other provinces started rolling out (on Wednesday) with KZN vaccinating the largest number and the lowest number being vaccinated in the NC (Northern Cape). The department once again urges educators and support staff to adhere to the schedules given by the district offices,” Mhlanga said.
He said authorities in the Northern Cape would send mobile teams to smaller towns to boost the vaccination rollout there.
KZN has so far vaccinated just over half a million of its population across 176 sites, of which 128 343 were health care workers, 389 097 senior citizens aged 60 and above, while 22 424 were educators.
As the country grapples with the third wave of Covid-19 infections, KZN accounts for the second highest number of confirmed cases to date nationally behind Gauteng province, the department of health said.
The KZN death toll reached 10 630 on Wednesday, with the majority of those fatalities occurring in the eThekwini district.