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Vaccinations for ECD sector kicks off

The Department of Social Development will on Monday launch its national vaccine rollout plan for frontline workers in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector, including ECD practitioners and staff who work in the environment.
Source: Photo by from Pexels

The plan will be rolled out in all provinces today, except in the Western Cape which will start on 22 July 2021 and Limpopo which will start on 23 July 2021.

“Over the past few days – the Provincial Departments of Social Development and Health have been working hard to ensure that the social development sector is prioritised for the vaccination roll out during the current phase, given the work that we do as a sector, through our daily interaction with the public in fulfilling our mandate of serving the most vulnerable in society.

“In total, we anticipate that this vaccine rollout programme will target a 240,000 workforce throughout the sector, and this will enable business continuity of our social services currently in high demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

She said all MECs for Social Development have been briefed on the readiness of the implementation of the vaccination programme in all provinces with National, Provincial, District and Local Task Teams between the Departments of Social Development and Health established to assist.

The Minister said the department has also been working with the ECD Inter-Sectoral Forum to ensure that no-one is left behind, given that “ECDs remain open whilst schools are closed and practitioners are equally at risk of the contracting the virus”.

“We want to highlight that this includes all ECDs both registered and unregistered with government, including centre and non-centre-based programmes,” Zulu said.

All social service professionals, including all social workers, auxiliary social workers, student social workers who are currently doing fieldwork, child and youth care workers, child and youth care auxiliary workers and is inclusive of all social service professionals in the public, private or NGO sectors, will also be included in the rollout plan.

It will further include community development practitioners employed by the Department of Social Development and frontline staff working in the department across the country at all social development facilities, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the National Development Agency (NDA), and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).

Zulu highlighted that only people who are registered on the Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) system will be eligible for vaccination, as there is no paper-based registration process at vaccination sites.

Details of all vaccination sites, provincial and district coordinators, including the ECD forum coordinators will be published on DSD National, Provincial Departmental and the Departments’ Agency’s websites.

Members of the sector may also send enquiries to az.vog.dsd@prvdivoc.

The following documents are required when going to the various vaccination sites:
  • Identity document or Passport;
  • Employee card and practice card, or receipt in the case of registered practitioners;
  • Medical aid cards for those who are on any medical aid; and
  • An updated cell-phone number which must be provided to the healthcare professional at the vaccination site in order to ensure that they receive further communication directly from the Department of Health.
The department encouraged people in the sector to get vaccinated, as this is important for their own safety, even though vaccination remains voluntary.

“Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing Covid-19, especially severe illness and death. It reduces the risk of people spreading the virus that causes Covid-19, [and] are a key tool in ending the pandemic and getting societies back to normal,” the department said.

The department also acknowledged the entire social development sector, including the ECD sector for remaining steadfast in their commitment in serving and caring for others, especially the most vulnerable during this difficult time of Covid-19.

“We look forward to getting this programme underway to enable our sector to continue to effectively deliver social protection and development services to our communities.”

SOURCE is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.
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