Covid-19 vaccine registration
(Photo by Deaan Vivier/Beeld/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
  • South Africans aged 60 and older can register for their Covid-19 vaccine jabs from 16:00 on Friday 16 April 2021.
  • This expansion of government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System – which was previously reserved for frontline healthcare workers – is in preparation for phase two of the rollout.
  • Successful online registration will be confirmed through an SMS which will provide further instructions, including a date and place of vaccination.
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South Africans aged 60 and older can now register online to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations as part of the preparation for phase two of the country's vaccine rollout. The online portal will accept new registrations from 16:00 on Friday 16 April 2021.

South Africa’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), which has previously been limited to accept registrations from frontline healthcare workers only, has been opened up to the country’s elderly population.

Despite South Africa lagging behind in its phased approach to the rollout – with less than 300,000 healthcare workers vaccinated out of a targeted 1.2 million in phase one – the department of health is readying itself for the next phase, which aims to vaccinate more than 16 million South Africans.

Phase two of the rollout prioritises vaccines for essential workers, persons in congregate settings, persons aged 60 and older and persons over the age of 18 with comorbidities.

While South Africa’s vaccination programme currently remains suspended, owing to the pause on Johnson & Johnson jabs amid concerns around blood clots, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Friday morning urged persons aged 60 and older to register for their shots.

See also | SA vaccine deal tracker: What you need to know

The online registration can be completed via a desktop computer or smartphone.

“If you are 60 years or older, you may now register for vaccination,” explained Mkhize at the launch of the expansion of the EVDS system to include persons identified in phase two of the rollout.

“You must have your ID and medical aid card [number], if you have one, and when you register, it’s very important that you put the correct cell phone number and address where you live. The data from the system assists us to allocate the vaccines to the vaccine service point and ensures that there are enough vaccines available on a particular vaccination day.”

Once the registration process has been completed, the department of health will communicate details of the closest vaccination site allocation and date with the applicant via an SMS.

See also | Here’s how registration for a Covid-19 vaccine will work in SA

People who encounter problems registering through the EVDS have been encouraged to call the Covid-19 hotline on 0800 029 999. Mkhize added that a dedicated call centre for the EVDS was being finalised and, once live, would handle all registration-related queries.

The data captured through the EVDS extends throughout the vaccination supply chain, from determining the number of vaccines needed at a particular vaccination site, to tracking the rollout’s progress.

Once vaccinated, you will receive a digital vaccination card as proof of the jab. This, too, will be registered through, and delivered by, the EVDS system.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the opening time of the registration portal at 16:00 on Friday 16 April 2021.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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