Health Minister Zweli Mkhize recently launched the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) which went live on Friday 16 April at 4pm.

Although the EVDS is open to all members of the public, Mkhize specifically invited all citizens aged 60 years and above to register for vaccination. “This launch marks a significant milestone not only for our vaccination campaign but for South Africa’s advancement towards universal health coverage. This is the first time in our democratic history that a major public health campaign will be supported by one digital system for all South Africans,” he said.

Mkhize further added that the system was in line with the 9th pillar of the presidential health compact – which commits to strengthening the health system by developing an information system that will guide health policies, strategies and investments. Some of the key activities proposed in the presidential health compact have found expression in the development and establishment of the EVDS system for the general population.

Some examples of the activities are:
  • Developing a system that complies with the Interoperability Standards for Digital health
  • Capitalising the functionality of the of a South African Health Information Exchange Service to allow the secure sharing of data between the different systems that make up the EVDS;
  • The development and implementation of procedures and systems for identity verification of users of the health system (public and in private), expanding the capabilities of the Health Patient Registration System platform;
  • Utilising the Business Intelligence Platform and Data lake functionality to standardised health outcomes reporting for both public and private sectors.
How does the EVDS work?

The EVDS is now live and anybody who is 60 or above may register. An ID and medical aid card (if available) are essential for registering on the system. “When you register, it is very important that you put in the correct cell phone number, the address where you live, and the correct medical aid number (if you have one),” highlighted Mkhize. He added that registration does not guarantee that one will be vaccinated immediately as the information provided will be used to communicate with individuals about the vaccination program when necessary.

The data from the system assists health officials to allocate the vaccines to the vaccine service points, ensuring that enough vaccines are available on a particular vaccination day. The details of the vaccinations will be captured digitally creating an electronic health record. In cases where officials have an individual’s mobile number, an SMS will be sent confirming that they have been vaccinated. Vaccination cards will also be provided to everyone who receives a vaccine.  

EVDS registration steps:

1. First make sure you have internet access.

2. You will need a smartphone, a tablet or a computer.

3. Connect to the internet and go to vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za. The welcome screen will guide you through the steps and this is what the demonstration team will show us shortly.

4. It is important to follow the instructions and put in all the details the system asks for.

5. When you are finished, the system will send an SMS to the phone number you provided. This SMS will confirm that you are registered. This means that the system now has your details in a queue to be scheduled for your vaccine.

6. When it is your turn to be vaccinated, the system will send you an-other SMS with a date and the place where you will be vaccinated. If you put in the correct address, you will be sent to the vaccination centre that is closest to your home. Some of you may be directed to your place of work.

7. If you have problems you may contact the Covid-19 hotline at 0800 029 999. A dedicated call centre for the EVDS is being finalised and that number will be announced and displayed on the EVDS portal when you register.

“We welcome Government’s prioritisation of those over the age of 60, as they are most at risk of contracting severe illness and hospitalisation, and of death.  This is significant progress. We must seek to vaccinate this group as quickly as possible and ahead of the third wave and the onset of winter,” commented Martin Kingston, Chairman of B4SA’s Steering Committee.

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