The South African Committee of Medical Deans (SACoMD) and the South African Committee of Dental Deans (SACODD) have recommended compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations for all health science students and health care workers, including those
in training for professions in the health care sector. This will also serve as protection vaccination for dental care students and workers who are exposed to high-level Aerosol Generating procedures which increase the risk of exposure to pathogens and infection.
SACoMD and SACODD report that approximately 40% of health workers were infected with the virus during the first wave. They are highly exposed to COVID-19 in their work environment which makes them more vulnerable to infection and development of symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Infection of health workers increases the risk of transmission to their family or household members and those in their community. “Vaccination of healthcare workers transcends individual benefit and has major benefits for the broader health facility, which includes colleagues and patients whose lives are entrusted to their care”, says the South African Committee of Medical Deans and the South African Committee of Dental Deans. SACoMD and SACODD appeal to the immediate vaccination of adults against COVID-19, and compulsory vaccination of health science students and health workers to ensure the safety of patients and the general community.