Gareth Cotterell
2 minute read
10 Sep 2021
11:40 am

Digital vaccination certificate: What you need to know

Gareth Cotterell

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says the digital vaccination certificate will be available on your smartphone.

A patient receives the Covid-19 vaccine, administered by nurse Andrina Mabaso, 7 September 2021, at the Rhema Bible Church vaccination site in Bromhof, Randburg. Picture: Michel Bega

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla on Friday said his department is developing digital vaccination certificates for South Africans that have been fully vaccinated.

When will they be available

Phaahla said the certificates would be available in a week and will also be in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) global standardised vaccination proof.

“This is in line with the World Health Organization’s initiative to attempt to standardise vaccination proof all over the world,” he said, “and in a matter of a week this should be available to those who are vaccinated in South Africa.”

Where to access it

He added that the certificate would be available on an individual’s smartphone, which can also then be printed.

Phaahla emphasised that the certificate is being developed with fraud and other security protections.

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The digital certificate will be available to anyone in South Africa who is fully vaccinated – including those that received their jabs months ago – as long as their details are loaded on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

What it will be used for

Phaahla said the document would be used to gain entry to entertainment and sporting events. This comes as the government is expected to announce an easing of lockdown restrictions after the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) held meetings on Tuesday.

“We have no intention to use this to deny people without a certificate access to public services, but it could be used for entertainment venues, sports venues and the like.”

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The health minister also announced the introduction of the self-booking feature on the Electronic Vaccination Data System.

“You can now select a date, time and vaccination site of your choice,” he said.

Regarding the upcoming local government elections, Phaahla said the health department is hoping to “integrate voter registration with the vaccination campaign to ensure that we have safe government elections on November 1”.

On Thursday, the latest Covid-19 figures released by the health department showed that 6,270 new cases and 175 more deaths had been reported. This brought the cumulative number of cases in the country to 2,843,042 and the total deaths to 84,327.