Africa Coronavirus (COVID-19) World

Fri 16 April 2021:

South Africa launched on Friday an electronic platform where citizens aged 60 and older can register to get vaccinated against COVID-19, marking the first time in the country’s democratic history that a major public health campaign is supported by a one-for-all digital system.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize described the launch of the uniform e-register as a significant milestone not only for the vaccination campaign but for South Africa’s advancement towards universal health coverage.

“This is in line with the 9th pillar of the Presidential Health Compact which commits to strengthening the health system by developing an information system that will guide health policies, strategies and investments,” the minister said in a statement.


Mkhize noted that the electronic system would not make difference between users with private and public health care, with the exception that private health care users would have to input their medical aid details.

“The quality of service will be the same for all of us and the system will assign a vaccination site closer to our homes or where we work not based on whether a particular site is a public or private facility. If you are 60 or older you may now register for vaccination. You must have your ID and medical aid card ready before you register,” the minister added.

South Africa rolled out its mass vaccination program on February 17. The campaign includes three stages, with the first one covering frontline health care staff and the second one essential workers, seniors and people with comorbidities. The country is currently using Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine instead of AstraZeneca’s, which dropped off the campaign due to efficacy concerns against the South African coronavirus variant.

How to register

1. Make sure you have internet access.

2. You will need a smartphone, a tablet or a computer.

3. Connect to the internet and go to The welcome screen will guide you through the steps and this is what the demonstration team will show us shortly.

4. Follow the instructions and put in all the details the system asks for.

5. When you are finished, the system will send an SMS to the phone number you provided. This means that the system now has your details in a queue to be scheduled for your vaccine.

6. You will then receive an SMS with a date and the place where you will be vaccinated. You will be sent to the vaccination centre that is closest to your home. Some of you may be directed to your place of work.

7. If you have problems you may contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 0800 029 999.

8. Citizen will be provided with a proof of vaccination card and receive a confirmation SMS on their phone.

Internet connection

Mkhize said the department will use the smartphones and petrol that has been donated by various companies and organisations to send teams out to help vulnerable citizens who do not have access to digital technology.

This includes the elderly, the homeless and those who live in the deep rural areas that are difficult to reach.

“We will ensure that these team members are easy to identify and that you can verify that they are indeed accredited outreach team members.”

They will also be trained to educate and raise awareness on vaccination in the community.

Government will soon announce a WhatsApp service to assist in this process. 

“If you are unable to register by these methods, you may simply go to the nearest vaccination centre and we will register you on the spot. If you are 60 years or above we will also vaccinate you at the same time.”

According to Mkhize, this is only because government wants to prioritise those who are most at risk of getting sick or dying of COVID-19.

He has urged those who are technological savvy to assist senior citizens to register.

“Please help your mother, your father, your grandmother, your grandfather or your friend who is 60 years or older to register so they can get vaccinated.” 




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