Online registrations for COVID-19 kick up a notch

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As at 30 March, the national Department of Health’s online system to register for the COVID-19 vaccine had already amassed 775 912 registrations.

This was the update provided by the department during its presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health. It was updating Parliament on the latest timelines for the vaccination rollout programme.

South Africa is currently in phase one of its COVID-19 vaccination strategy, which targets to vaccinate just over 41 million of the country’s population by February 2022.

As part of this first phase, only healthcare workers are allowed to self-register for their vaccine via the electronic vaccination data system (EVDS).The general public will only be able to register via the online portal as the next stages of the vaccination programme are implemented.

The EVDS platform can be accessed via cellphone or a computer with an Internet connection. It aims toco-ordinate, ensure facilities that are accredited are on the system, co-ordinate the supply of vaccines, enable a pre-booking and vaccination system, and record who is and isn’t vaccinated, as well as any information that will help the department with planning, execution and monitoring of the vaccination, according to the department.

Presenting to MPs, Dr Aquina Thulare, health department technical adviser, revealed that a total of 775 912 healthcare workers (health professionals and patient-facing) have registered through the EVDS. “Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN [KwaZulu-Natal] have got the highest number of healthcare workers.”

In terms of the number of individuals vaccinated to date, 244 907 healthcare workers have been vaccinated, said Thulare. “Gauteng has the highest number of healthcare workers who have received the vaccine, followed by KZN and Western Cape. Of these vaccinations, we still have around 6 875 vaccinations that were completed manually that still have to be captured on the system.”

During his address to the nation on Tuesday night, president Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated the EVDS was established to manage the vaccine rollout and direct people towards vaccination sites closest to where they live.

“This system will allow you to register, receive an appointment date and site, and receive a digital certificate or a hard copy confirming your vaccination status once vaccinated.

“Everyone that will be vaccinated will have to be registered on the system first, and you will be invited to register once you become eligible.”

Ramaphosa indicated government will work through provincial and district structures and community-based organisations to register those citizens who do not have access to technology.

“We are developing mechanisms to identify and register undocumented persons so that they too can be vaccinated.”

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