NATIONAL NEWS - Clinicians can now self-register to get their COVID-19 inoculation, as government prepares for its historic vaccination rollout in the next coming weeks.
Launching the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) on Wednesday, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said more than 34 000 frontline workers have already registered.
In line with the phased approach of the vaccine rollout plan, the Minister is calling on all health workers to self-register on the portal.
According to Mkhize, those who have so far registered include clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers from both the public and private sectors.
Mkhize said medical students and traditional workers have been added to the list as well.
“If you’re working in a professional healthcare setting, you need to be registered. Anyone who touches patients, whether you are a porter, security guard or cleaner and everyone who’s at risk, must register.”
The EVDS will verify a person’s medical care worker status by checking against the employment data or other organisations that hire or regulate healthcare workers.
“Therefore, while it’s possible to register on the site if one is not a healthcare worker, the system will automatically prioritise verified healthcare workers for the period of phase one,” Mkhize explained.
Mkhize said it is very easy to register, takes less than one megabyte and about two minutes to complete the registration process.
Any frontline worker who cannot register online must seek assistance from the Occupational Health and Safety representatives in their municipalities.
However, Mkhize said if a health frontline worker has not registered, they will not be denied vaccination.
“You'll be registered at the vaccination site. It will just take a few minutes longer. However, we encourage healthcare workers to register because it will help us to know how to refine our current allocations and get enough vaccines to the right centres at the right time,” the Minister said.
The Health Department’s Acting Chief Operating Officer (COO), Milani Wolmarans, said workers can register with either their ID or passport number.
The portal will collect general personal details, including name and surname, and the system will automatically calculate the date of birth.
The system also requires an email address and cell phone number.
“A cell phone number is important because it will be used to communicate with the healthcare worker. This is the only personal information communicated through the portal.”
Thereafter, the healthcare workers will be asked to fill in their information about employment and medical aid scheme.
The COO assured workers their data will be protected when they register for the vaccine, and that system has undergone penetration testing.
Wolmarans said the portal is managed through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and is owned by the National Department of Health.
“The system will not crash after a million people have been registered and the EVDS is built on the health patient registration system, which is already managing 59 million records.”
While there may be delays, Wolmarans said the system will not stop working.
Digital health information systems
Mkhize said this is the beginning of the complete vaccination health information system - from registration to certification.
“The system has been developed with the purpose of ensuring we lay a solid foundation for digital health information systems that inform the right national policies and interventions.”
Mkhize said government is making strides by capitalising on the department’s existing health patient registration platform, which will feed into the EVDS.
“The system can capture the relevant metrics of all South Africans that will be vaccinated and ensure they are contactable, and complete the certification process, such that they’re easy to obtain.”
Mkhize said government is proud to offer a service that ensures healthcare workers are inoculated efficiently.
“We’ve reached a significant milestone in our fight against COVID-19,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za