Government has officially launched the COVID-19 vaccine online registration for the public as the Department of Health gears up for phase two of the country's vaccine rollout.
According to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) is now available to the general public and all citizens aged 60 years and above are invited to register for vaccination.
"This launch marks a significant milestone not only for our vaccination campaign but for South Africa's advancement towards Universal Health Coverage," he said on Friday.
The Minister said this was the first time in democratic history that a major public health campaign will be supported by one digital system for all South Africans.
"The President, myself, hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers and now you, the citizens of South Africa, have or will all access the vaccines through the same process, by using this system."
Mkhize explained that there will be no distinction between private and state healthcare users, except that private healthcare users will need to share their medical aid details.
"The quality of services will be the same for all of us and the system will assign a vaccination site closest to our homes or where we work and not based on whether a particular site is a public or private facility."
He said citizens must have their ID, medical aid card and ensure they put in the correct cellphone number and residential address where they live.
However, the registration does not guarantee that you will be vaccinated immediately.
"We will use the information you provide when you register to communicate with you about the vaccination programme when necessary."
How to register
1. Make sure you have internet access.
2. You will need a smartphone, a tablet or a computer.
3. Connect to the internet and go to vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za. The welcome screen will guide you through the steps and this is what the demonstration team will show us shortly.
4. Follow the instructions and put in all the details the system asks for.
5. When you are finished, the system will send an SMS to the phone number you provided. This means that the system now has your details in a queue to be scheduled for your vaccine.
6. You will then receive an SMS with a date and the place where you will be vaccinated. You will be sent to the vaccination centre that is closest to your home. Some of you may be directed to your place of work.
7. If you have problems you may contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 0800 029 999.
8. Citizen will be provided with a proof of vaccination card and receive a confirmation SMS on their phone.
Mkhize said the department will use the smartphones and petrol that has been donated by various companies and organisations to send teams out to help vulnerable citizens who do not have access to digital technology.
This includes the elderly, the homeless and those who live in the deep rural areas that are difficult to reach.
"We will ensure that these team members are easy to identify and that you can verify that they are indeed accredited outreach team members."
They will also be trained to educate and raise awareness on vaccination in the community.
Government will soon announce a WhatsApp service to assist in this process.
"If you are unable to register by these methods, you may simply go to the nearest vaccination centre and we will register you on the spot. If you are 60 years or above we will also vaccinate you at the same time."
According to Mkhize, this is only because government wants to prioritise those who are most at risk of getting sick or dying of COVID-19.
He has urged those who are technological savvy to assist senior citizens to register.
"Please help your mother, your father, your grandmother, your grandfather or your friend who is 60 years or older to register so they can get vaccinated."