Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has urged the elderly to sign up for their COVID-19 vaccine, as the country implements the second phase of the vaccination rollout plan.
“All services are zero-rated and do not need airtime, data or money to use the services,” the Minister said on Sunday.
He reminded people that there are five ways to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS):
- Online at vaccine.enroll.gov.za.
- Using the WhatsApp line 0600 123456.
- Via SMS by dialling *134*832#.
- Call the COVID-19 hotline 0800 029 999.
- Citizens can also use the new QR by simply scanning and following the prompts.
Mkhize said provinces, the national Department of Health and Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) teams are conducting robust registration drives, and have since seen the numbers going up because of these initiatives.
To date, over 1.227 million senior citizens and over 914 000 healthcare workers have signed up on EVDS, which brings the number to over 2.1 million citizens.
“We recommend that as many people as possible register beforehand,” Mkhize said, noting that vaccination centres are currently not allowing walk-ins.
“However, going forward, we will be able to do so. The programme has been designed to avoid long queues. This is why it is important that as many people as possible register beforehand, and follow the instructions which they receive by SMS.”
Old age homes
Mkhize said citizens living in old age homes will not receive an SMS because the vaccines will be brought to them.
“They will be registered and vaccinated in their old age homes.”
Government is targeting 7 700 senior citizens living in 102 old age homes by the end of the week, and 50 000 citizens documented in old age homes are targeted to be vaccinated by the end of May.
“If you miss your vaccine appointment for any reason, you will be rescheduled [and] given another date and time to be vaccinated,” said the Minister.
He warned, however, that if a person misses three appointments, they will not be rescheduled again.
“However, you will still be on the system, and can ask to be scheduled again by phoning the COVID-19 hotline or visiting a registration site.”