Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
19 Dec 2021
10:00 am

Stolen identities mean no vaccination for some

Sipho Mabena

A mother in Mpumalanga and others are in vaccination limbo after identity theft left them unable to get vaccinated.

A woman gets jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine at the Centurion municipal offices vaccination site in Lyttleton, 3 September 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

When she registered for her Covid vaccination, Dimakatso Sedibe did not receive the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) confirmation but thought little of it, until she was told someone else had received the jab on her identity number days earlier.

“I was shocked because I have not received any vaccination. I have gone to other side but it is the same story. According to the system, I have received my first Pfizer jab and must get a second one. Who got my jab and how?” she asked in dejection.

This as the Omicron variant revealed in SA and Botswana on November 25 is tightening its grip, with a rise in cases and hospitalisation in SA, though at a slower pace than in previous waves.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has reported 13,992 new Covid-19 cases this week.

The unemployed mother of infant twins from Mountain View, near KwaMhlanga, in Mpumalanga, explained that in October she went to a vaccination site in a local shopping complex to get inoculated.

ALSO READ: Travel deals: A bus ticket to Zim and fake Covid certificate for just R1800

She was informed that the process required that she register on the central EVDS, which would generate a unique confirmation code that she must then present to the vaccination site.

Sedibe said she went to the back of the queue and registered on the system while waiting for her turn, but did not receive the SMS with the unique code.

“Others who registered after me, whilst waiting on the queue, were getting their codes and getting their jabs but nothing came for me. I then explained my predicament to the staff and they entered my identity number on the system so I could get vaccinated anyway,” she said.

But that would be the beginning of her nightmare. She realised that someone else, somewhere in the Eastern Cape by the name of Nozinzi Ndoko, already received her jab, using Sedibe’s identity number, in September.

Sedibe said staff at the vaccination site promised to look into the matter, took down her details, as well as the copy of her identity document, and promised to call her but this never happened.

With little children to care for and worried about her safety from the killer pandemic, Sedibe went to another vaccination site in Phola Mall but was told the same story.

“I was instead asked if I was there for my second jab because I already had my first. I was just devastated. Now I do not know what to do anymore. I am just a sitting duck, waiting to be killed by Covid,” she said.

Not an isolated case

In another case, a Pretoria woman claims she received her jab in July but the system could not generate a vaccination certificate for her because it had already been issued to someone else.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was taken together with other colleagues to the Pretoria West Police College to get vaccinated as a group, but was told she should not get the jab as she was on flu medication.

“I was asked to come after two weeks but when I got there, I was told someone else, with my identity number and surname but different names was vaccinated at a Clicks pharmacy on the same day I was turned away,” she said.

ALSO READ: The big fails of vaccine certificates

The cleaner from Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, said she was vaccinated anyway but without her vaccination certificate there is no way to prove this to her employers.

Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale said Sedibe’s case was not isolated, saying they were aware of several such cases and were trying to resolve them.

He said those affected should send an e-mail with a description of their case, contact details as well as a copy of their identity document to evdsqueries@health.gov.za.

siphom@citizen.co.za