South Africa is currently moving into a public vaccination phase. When an individual is vaccinated against a disease, their risk of infection is reduced. The priority for the COVID-19 vaccines is to prevent morbidity and mortality, while also working towards achieving herd immunity and prevent ongoing transmission.
1. Public vaccination roll-out – things you may need to know
South Africa will soon be vaccinating all individuals older than 18 years. When an individual is vaccinated against a disease, their risk of infection is reduced. The priority for the COVID-19 vaccines is to prevent morbidity and mortality, while also working towards achieving herd immunity and preventing ongoing transmission.
2. Where to register for vaccination
The National Department of Health (NDoH) has established a registration portal called the EVDS, where all eligible members of the public (according to your age group) can register for the vaccine: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/. When you are eligible, you will receive a vaccine code and be directed to the nearest, most appropriate vaccine centre with details of time and date for vaccination. This vaccine code is an important element, so please take this along with you to the relevant vaccination centre.
Other channels of registration include:
- Send a WhatsApp saying “REGISTER” to 0600 123 456
- SMS *134*832* followed by your ID number
- If you do not have an ID number just dial *134*832#
4. More vaccination centres will be coming on board
More vaccinations sites are becoming available, and sites are moved in order to reach all citizens. A list of active vaccination sites is published by the DOH at https://sacoronavirus.co.za/active-vaccination-sites/
5. Are walk-ins currently allowed at Mediclinic vaccination centres?
At this point, walk-ins are only accommodated at Mediclinic vaccination centres where appointments have not been met by those directed to the centre by the EVDS system. Those who have been issued with a vaccine code will be directed via SMS to specific vaccination centres, and will be accommodated in specific intervals, in order to reduce the risk of long queues. Persons with appointments will receive preference at the vaccination centres.
6. Cost of vaccines for the public
Members of the public will not have to pay for the vaccination. Should an individual be a member of a medical aid, this will be claimed back from the fund as a prescribed minimum benefit, or if the individual is not medically insured, the fee will be claimed from the government fund.
7. Mild side effects are quite common
Vaccines can cause mild symptoms resembling those of the disease they are providing protection against. However, these symptoms are actually the body’s immune system reacting to the vaccine and not the disease itself. These symptoms may include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, diarrhoea or pain at the injection site. Symptoms usually only last 1-2 days.
8. What vaccine will I receive?
Mediclinic vaccination centres are currently providing Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This is dependent on what has been allocated by the National Department of Health, and the facilities available at a particular hospital.