Covid-19 weekly round-up: Digital vaccination certificates system to be launched this week
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THE Department of Health will in this week, officially launch its Covid-19 digital vaccine certificate system which could be used to show vaccination status to facilitate travel, access to establishments, gatherings and other forms of activity.
Health spokesperson Foster Mohale, said the online portal has not yet been officially launched as the technical team are doing final tests.
“The department is currently at the testing phase of the system to troubleshoot all possible glitches ahead of the official launch later this week,” said Mohale.
The system creates a digital copy of proof of vaccination and creates a QR code for users.
The digital copy can also be accessed via mobile device or downloaded as a PDF, and it is linked to the vaccination code issued by the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
President Cyril Ramaphosa said during a state of the nation address last week that standardising proof of vaccination will go a long way towards getting a number of international travel restrictions from and into the country eased.
More than 353 000 people received their Covid-19 shot as part of the Vooma vaccination weekends campaign, however, government did miss its target of reaching 500 000 people.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said as the country enters lockdown level 1, the vaccination campaign would aim to reach half a million people.
The Vooma vaccination campaign is aimed at reaching those who might not be able to get the vaccine during the week.
The Department of Health has set a target of vaccinating 70% of South Africans by the end of December.
On Tuesday, the country crossed the 18 million mark for administered Covid-19 vaccine doses.
Close to 13 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This is due to Pfizer’s two-dose regimen.
With just three months to go, about 27 million people need to be vaccinated to reach the December target.
Mandatory vaccinations should be the last resort says SAHRC
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Monday, that if the state decides on mandatory vaccinations, it should do so as the last resort.
The commission said focus should rather be placed on educating people on the need for and workings of the vaccines in an effort to convince them to voluntarily vaccinate.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the department of health will soon be rolling out a vaccination certificate that can be used to facilitate travel and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination status.
Chairperson Bongani Majola, said the commission is not convinced at this stage that all efforts have been made by government, business or civil society the state, to educate South Africans about the benefits of vaccination.
While the commission strongly supports the Covid-19 vaccination, as its benefits have been shown to outweigh its disadvantages, it supports voluntary vaccination and hopes that the public will see the greater benefits for themselves.
Keep an eye out next week for another round-up of the top Covid-19 stories.