If you thought South Africans were unsure about the COVID Alert SA app, be prepared for the next wave of questioning aimed at the government’s newly announced Electronic Vaccine Data System (or EVDS) and its data collection plans.
It’s one thing to order batch after batch of vaccines, but a proper rollout strategy is needed if the government plans to vaccinate a massive amount of humans. The government has developed a phased approach to vaccinating the nation, in which each phase is attributed to a certain group of society. To help administrate this process, it has announced the EVDS system — a digital platform where citizens can sign up to get their COVID-19 jabs.
Initially, only citizens who qualify for Phase 1 (mainly frontline workers in the healthcare industry) of the national vaccine rollout plan will have the ability to register on the platform using their ID or passport. Developed by the Department of Health, the platform plays an integral part in ensuring vaccinations are allocated correctly.
The system is linked to the government’s supply chain management system. Vaccines aren’t much use if there aren’t enough doses allocated to local vaccination sites.
How to sign up for your vaccine
To sign up for an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, users will have to head to the EVDS landing page and submit some personal information. This serves as a sort of digital ‘application’ to see whether a person qualifies for that particular phase of vaccinations. At this stage, it’s only open for Phase 1 citizens.
When registering, users will need to submit their occupation, employer, whether they are patient-facing, and medical aid information. Following this, the application will be vetted by authorities to confirm you’re legit. Don’t fake it until you vaccinate it, you hear? Viable applicants will receive an SMS confirming the time and place the vaccination will take place, along with a code unique to you that you’ll have to take along the day of.
According to the official website, you’re not guaranteed a vaccine if you sign up on the platform. The Department of Health will decide your fate, in this case.
The platform is available both on desktop (any browser) and on mobile. It’ll also remain active during the continuous rollout of vaccines in South Africa. So even though you may not qualify for Phase 1, it’s a good idea to become acquainted with the platform early on.