A South African government official expressed concern after 9,113 educators and support staff, some with comorbidities, refused to take COVID-19 vaccinations in Gauteng province.
The Gauteng provincial member of the executive council for education Panyaza Lesufi on Friday said while vaccination is voluntary, the WHO encourages people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to be vaccinated.
“We are very worried that nearly 10,000 of our personnel in the Gauteng education sector are, for one reason or the other, refusing to be vaccinated against this deadly virus which has wreaked havoc in our schools and communities by taking away our loved ones,” said Lesufi.
Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona encouraged teachers and supporting staff to be vaccinated.
“It needs to be noted that the reluctance to vaccinate is a threat to the government’s efforts to normalize schooling during this disruptive pandemic, and effectively threatens the academic year in its entirety. We, again, urge those who are refusing to vaccinate to come forward and take this vaccination which millions across the world are seeking,” he said.
South Africa is currently vaccinating teachers and supporting staff with the police and army scheduled to receive the jab starting on Monday.