The Department of Health has launched the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) which will be used to roll out South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. The EVDS, a self-registration portal was launched by Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, who said the system was part the government’s ambitious plans to digitise South Africa’s public health information.
Speaking at a press conference, Mkhize said the system can capture the relevant metrics of all South Africans who will be vaccinated. He said the system aims to ensure that those who are vaccinated are contactable and alerted to optimize adherence to the regimen.
South Africa’s health workers will be the first group to vaccinated and have been urged to self-register on the portal at vaccine.enroll.health.za. This week, one million Covid-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca were delivered to South Africa. The vaccines batch is being kept under lock and key and will undergo quality checks by the National Health Services national laboratory facility in Bloemfontein before it is administered. Mkhize said that 34 000 active health workers had already registered on the system.
“The system will then verify that one is a health worker by checking against the data provided by the personal system, private systems, facility data, employer data (for example cleaning or security contractors) and other data from organizations and other bodies that employ or regulate health care workers. Therefore, whilst it is possible to register on the site if one is not a health care worker, the system will automatically prioritize verified health workers for the period of phase one. It takes less than one megabyte and approximately 2 minutes to complete the registration process and we will shortly demonstrate how easy it is to self-register,” explained Mkhize.
The Department of Health said that any health care worker who cannot register can seek assistance from the occupational health and safety representative in their municipality.
“In the event that a health care worker has not self-registered, you will not be denied the vaccination. You will be registered at the vaccination site, it might just take a few minutes longer. We would, however, encourage all health care workers to register before the inoculation call because this will help us to know how to refine our current allocations and get enough vaccines to the right vaccine centres at the right time,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize said it is a matter of national pride for the department to offer a service that ensures that health care workers are prioritized and inoculated in an efficient manner. He said a significant milestone in the fight against Covid-19 has been reached.
The development comes as South Africa inched towards 1.5 million Covi-19 cases on Tuesday. As of Wednesday, a total of 44 946 people had succumbed to Covid-19.