Over 126,000 people over the age of 60 registered for COVID vaccine in SA

The country's electronic vaccination data system website officially went live on Friday afternoon.

FILE: Government will soon announce a WhatsApp service to assist in this process. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Health on Friday said over 126,000 people had registered on the new vaccine portal that went live for South Africans who are 60 years and older.

The country's electronic vaccination data system website officially went live on Friday afternoon.

It comes amid concerns among many South Africans who have criticised government for dragging its feet in vaccinating the country.

READ: COVID-19 vaccine registration for elderly S. Africans to open on Friday - Mkhize

However, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has assured the country that the rollout plan is still intact and will go ahead once all the issues they've come across so far have been sorted.

The department’s Milani Wolmaran said they were seeing positive feedback: “Over 126,000 people have registered within the first hour.”

Wolmaran said they'd put security measures to ensure that the system was safe: “And one of the key securities is that we will not release their data and the system is owned by government.”

The department said the feedback for its vaccine registration portal took 12 hours.

Wolmaran said those who registered on Friday would be receiving messages on Saturday informing of what they should do.

“So those that registered during the course of the day were registering during the live testing period. If you do not receive an SMS within the next 12 hours, we ask you to kindly reregister.”

Wolmaran said those who did not have access to the internet would be assisted at different sites across the country.

“All provincial departments of health have committed to health programmes to different community halls, community libraries where they will have assisted registration.”

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How to register:

  1. 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.

  4. 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 means that the system now has your details in a queue to be scheduled for your vaccine.

  6. You will then receive an SMS with a date and the place where you will be vaccinated. 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.

  8. Citizen will be provided with a proof of vaccination card and receive a confirmation SMS on their phone.

NO INTERNET

Mkhize said the department would use the smartphones and petrol that had been donated by various companies and organisations to send teams out to help vulnerable citizens who did not have access to digital technology.

This includes the elderly, the homeless and those who live in the deep rural areas that are difficult to reach.

“We will ensure that these team members are easy to identify and that you can verify that they are indeed accredited outreach team members.”

They will also be trained to educate and raise awareness on vaccination in the community.

Government will soon announce a WhatsApp service to assist in this process.

“If you are unable to register by these methods, you may simply go to the nearest vaccination centre and we will register you on the spot. If you are 60 years or above, we will also vaccinate you at the same time.”

According to Mkhize, this is only because government wants to prioritise those who are most at risk of getting sick or dying of COVID-19.

He has urged those who are technological savvy to assist senior citizens to register.

“Please help your mother, your father, your grandmother, your grandfather or your friend who is 60 years or older to register so they can get vaccinated.”

Additional reporting by sanews.gov.za

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