Higher education minister Blade Nzimande has called on health students to assist the health department with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout on a volunteer basis.

Speaking at the Higher Health webinar this week, Nzimande said the health department couldn’t vaccinate 40 million people all by itself.

He said his department needed to play its part as a sector.

“We are working closely with other sister government departments to build a health department-approved training programme for the post-school education and training (PSET) sector for a science-based awareness and education initiative on the national Covid vaccination drive,” said Nzimande.

The move comes after ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba claimed that over 500 experienced medical doctors and thousands of qualified nurses were sitting at home unemployed, despite the insufficient capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.