Health Department did not mean for digital vaccination certificates system to go live

Business Insider SA
tourist using immunity passport app in mobile phon
South African vaccine certificate being tested.
  • The department of health says its digital vaccination certificates system is still being tested.
  • The system was not meant to go live.
  • It admits that some people were lucky enough to download their certificates.
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The department of health says its digital vaccination certificates system for Covid-19 is still being tested, despite it quietly launching its site earlier today.

To the surprise of many, the department without making any announcement seemingly opened the digital vaccination certificates system on its website on Tuesday.

These certificates are seen as as way to relax Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and to establish proof of vaccination.

See also | SA has launched its digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate with QR code – here’s how it works

In a statement, the department's spokesperson, Foster Mohale says it was not meant to go live.

"The department is currently at the testing phase of the system to troubleshoot all possible glitches ahead of the official launch later this week."

He adds: "Thus, the system is not yet officially functional in a live environment which will enable vaccinated individuals to access and download certificates."

Mohale says the department was taking care to build in security into the system to protect individuals` personal data as much as possible.

The launch of the digital vaccination certificate was expected to be announced later this week but it appears that will opened up in a staggered approach.

"The development and release of fully-fledged Covid-19 vaccination certificates will be phased-in over time."

See also | Govt departments have been told to push the message ‘the vaccine is your choice’

For now, Mohale is asking those looking to get the certificate to bare with them.

"We request members of the public to exercise patience while we implement the final refinement as we prepare to officially launch the first version of the Covid-19 vaccination digital certificate."  

He did admit that those who were fortunate enough to access the system before it was blocked to the public might have got an early Christmas present.

"We are aware that a few lucky individuals managed to access the system and download their vaccination certificates."

(Compiled by Larry Claasen)

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