South Africa's digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate ready for use - Phaahla

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that the COVID-19 vaccine certificate would be a tool that would enable vaccinated people to access opportunities that service providers would be making available.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla at a briefing on 30 September 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The first phase of South Africa's digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate was launched on Friday.

Health Minister Joe Phaala joined by his deputy, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, gave an update on government's management of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as South Africa's coronavirus immunisation programme.

Phaahla said that the certificate was developed in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

“It is a first phase because it is ready for use, but there's going to be a lot more improvements going forward in the next two months to improve, especially on the safety and security of the certificate but it is ready for use,” said the Health Minister.

ALOS READ: Health Dept: your digital COVID vaccine certificate available

Phaahla said that the COVID-19 vaccine certificate would be a tool that would enable vaccinated people to access opportunities that service providers would be making available.

"Amongst others, we expect the sports and recreation to open up more for vaccinated people, shops to provide discounts and others to give prizes. I've already seen one of the banks advertising some prizes for people when they get vaccinated," he said.

Minister Phaahla added that they expected that these certificates would allow for entry to events in the future.

"Entertainment to start opening up, music festivals... these are some of the opportunities that people that are vaccinated will be able to access"

The department's EVDS project manager, Milani Wolmarans, said that government would advise people when newer versions of the COVID-19 vaccine certificate became available.

"This is the first version of the vaccination certificate. The design of the certificate will be enhanced over time and we will ensure that it remains up to date with local and international standards."

Government will resend confirmation codes sent out to those vaccinated over the next four days but if you can't wait that long you can call the national coronavirus hotline on 0800 029 999 for these details.

The minister has also welcomed the UK's move in removing South Africa from its travel red list.

“But even more exciting for us was the announcement by the UK that they will be recognising this certificate which we're launching this morning. So many people who have been waiting for business trips, visit family and friends or to go and study in the UK will now know that you can do so without having to need to do attend a quarantine when they arrive in London, and other UK destinations,” said Phaahla.

South Africa has so far dispensed over 18.7 million coronavirus vaccine doses.

South African vaccine certificates can be generated by visiting: https://vaccine.certificate.health.gov.za/

WATCH: How to get your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate

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