On Monday Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced the launch of the vaccination registration programme as the country gears up for phase two of the vaccination rollout for people over the age of 60 and those living with comorbidities.
This is South Africa’s first-of-its-kind health system that will bring together both private and state healthcare consumers, except that private health members will make contributions through their medical aids.
Mkhize said this was only the beginning of moving towards universal health coverage and a “significant milestone for South African citizens”.
While answering your questions, The Citizen gives you an A-Z guide on how to register and get vaccinated.
Here is all that you need to know about getting vaccinated:
Will I be forced to take the vaccine?
According to Mkhize, the government will not force anyone to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
This was assured by Mkhize in Parliament earlier this year during a briefing with the portfolio committee on health.
As much as it is the government’s wish that every citizen get the jab, Mkhize told the committee those who wished to give the vaccine a pass were well within their rights to do so as was the case with other vaccines.
The committee members wanted clarity whether citizens who objected to taking the vaccines on religious or moral grounds would be allowed to opt out.
How do I register to get vaccinated?
The registration process is completed online for those who have the access to the internet, smartphones, computers or tablets. The site can be accessed here.
Make sure that you have your ID, medical aid card and ensure you enter your correct cellphone number and residential address. Follow these steps.
- Go to vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za
- The welcome screen will guide you
- It is important to follow the instructions and enter all the details the system asks for
- When you are finished the system will send you an SMS to confirm you are registered. This means the system now has your details in a queue to be scheduled for your vaccine
- When it is your turn to be vaccinated the system will send you another SMS with a date and venue. You will be sent to the vaccination centre closest to your home. Some of you may be directed to your place of work
- If you have problems contact the Covid-19 hotline on 0800 029 999. A dedicated call centre for the Electronic Vaccination Data System is being finalised and the number will be announced on the EVDS portal when you register.
What happens if I do not have a smart gadget or internet?
“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,” Mkhize said.
He said that this was done to prioritise those who are most at risk of getting sick or dying of Covid-19.
Those who are technologically savvy are urged to assist senior citizens to register.
Mkhize added that the department would use smartphones and petrol 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 deep rural areas that are difficult to reach.”
“We will ensure these team members are easy to identify and that you can verify that they are indeed accredited outreach team members. They will be trained to educate and raise awareness about vaccinations in the community.”
He said that the government would soon announce a WhatsApp service to assist in the process.
How protected is my personal information?
The department uses the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
This is used to collect only personal information (names and Identity Number) as contained in your identity document.
This is done to verify and confirm your eligibility as a Covid-19 vaccine beneficiary according to the priority phases defined in the Covid-19 National Vaccination Plan
- The medical aid details, residential address, email address, phone numbers (including mobile numbers in order to send messages and appointment messages for the second dose of the vaccine)
- Employment details, professional category and registration as part of the priority group eligibility verification
- patient information in relation to your health status, including underlying conditions you may have in line with the vaccination protocols.
The department monitors compliance with these legal requirements. For the purpose of developing data collection tools and user applications for EVDS, the Department of Health has engaged Mezzanine Ware and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Can I stop general C0vid-19 protection measures once I have the vaccine?
The simple answer is NO. You should continue to use general Covid-19 protection measures such as wearing a mask and practising social distancing after being vaccinated.
Even though you will be protected from getting severely ill and dying, studies have not yet shown enough data to prove that vaccinated people cannot spread the virus to others. Thus it remains possible that a vaccinated person could spread the virus to others, even if they do not show any symptoms.