While it seems like large parts of the world are currently undergoing vaccinations, that’s certainly not the case in South Africa. While older generations can now officially register for the vaccine, the rollout is taking longer than we’re sure most people would like. One has to hope that The National Department of Health’s latest plan to speed things up does just that: You’ll now be able to register for your vaccination via WhatsApp, SMS or even USSD.
It’s a smart move given that large swathes of the country may not be able to access the online portal through a computer. It’s much easier to book a shot by typing in a USSD code on your phone than trekking kilometres to the nearest computer with internet access. If you’re not over 60 or an essential health-care worker then you still have some time to kill before you can register but if you do fall into one of those categories, here’s how to register:
- WhatsApp – Send “REGISTER” to the COVID-19 hotline at 0600 123 456.
- SMS – Dial *134*832* followed by your ID number
- USSD – Dial *134*832# and follow the prompts
If you want to go this route of registration there are a few things you’ll need a few things, specifically proof of identification, a medical aid number (if you have it) and then a bevy of personal information to finally fill out the registration form.
If you’re able to register for the vaccination and you’re reading this on a computer (which you could conceivably be doing) then you can head on over here to the online portal, which launched on 16 April, to complete the process. It’s simple!