Here’s how registration for a Covid-19 vaccine will work in SA
- Before you can receive a vaccine in South Africa, you will have to be registered on a new electronic platform.
- Once you are next in line, you will receive an SMS with details of your vaccination appointment.
- You will then get a digital certificate to confirm that you have been vaccinated.
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South Africa is expected to start distributing Covid-19 vaccines next week and has developed an online registration system which will allow citizens to book their jabs.
The Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) will record all aspects of the immunisation rollout which will assist government in monitoring its supplies and targets according to each phase of the programme.
As more than one million healthcare workers look set to receive their jabs as part of the rollout’s first vital phase, government has expanded on the technical aspects of tracking and certifying successful vaccinations.
The EVDS, unveiled this week by the health department’s chief director of information systems, Milani Wolmarans, forms a critical part of managing the vaccination programme.
The online registration platform, which is due to be accessible in the first week of February, will, initially, be used exclusively by frontline healthcare workers.
As admitted by role-players in both the public and private sector, phase one of the vaccination rollout will serve as a trial period, whereby systems can be refined and scaled up to service 67% of the population by the end of 2021, as instructed by government.
This is also true for the EVDS, which will likely be improved and adapted to handle the sheer volume of registrations in phase two and three. In the meantime, Wolmarans has given South Africans a glimpse into how the registration system will work.
All South Africans who receive the vaccine, whether through medical aid, private or public facilities, will be registered on the EVDS according to the specific risk-based phase approach.
“This is an integrated online system that will allow us to capture all the relevant data that is associated with the administration of the vaccine,” explained Wolmarans during a briefing this week. “It’s a data secure platform that complies with national and international security standards.”
The self-registration portal, once officially launched, will be accessible via both desktop-based web browsers and smartphones. The booking system consists of six steps, from registration to certification once the final dose has been administered.
The first step of the registration process is completing a digital enrolment form which must include the following personal details:
- Name and surname
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Cellphone number
- Place of work (or residence in phase two and three)
SMS confirming appointment
Once the enrolment form has been submitted and approved, applicants will receive an SMS from the department of health, confirming the details of the vaccination appointment. The time, date and details of the applicable vaccination facility will be included in this SMS.
This confirmation will come with a unique vaccination code which must be used to verify the applicant’s appointment during the next phase.
On arrival at the vaccination site, the applicant will need to produce their unique confirmation code, which was delivered via SMS, medical aid details (if the applicant is insured) and identity document.
“On that SMS there will be a vaccination code, which they must show to the vaccinator at the vaccination site and the vaccinator will then confirm that they are eligible to receive the vaccine,” explained Wolmarans.
Once the applicant has been confirmed to be eligible to receive the vaccine, they will then need to give consent to be vaccinated.
The jab and data capture
The vaccine will be administered once consent has been given. All the information gathered during the registration process will then be updated on the EVDS.
“It [the EVDS] records the vaccination code that comes with the SMS and they will receive another SMS [confirming] that they have received the first dose of the vaccine and they will receive a message to say when they can receive their second dose,” said Wolmarans.
Secondary jabs are usually administered one to three weeks after the first. After the second dose is administered, completing the vaccination process, the EVDS system will, once again, be updated.
“After the second dose, the vaccinee will be able to access, through a secure platform, an electronic vaccination certificate,” explained Wolmarans.
Importantly, the EVDS is linked to the supply chain management and will be used to track the availability of doses in specific regions.
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