Please be patient with vaccine registration system, pleads Health Department
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CAPE TOWN - The Department of Health has asked the public to be patient, as it irons out some issues with the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
There have been complaints about the system and reports about people under the age of 60 being able to register for the Covid-19 vaccine, with some even getting appointment dates for their jabs.
And many over-60s who had registered on the EVDS, are yet to receive notification of appointments for the vaccine.
The portal also closed its registration page for healthcare workers on Tuesday. the department said this was because it was being abused by queue-jumpers who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Dr Nicholas Crisp, who is overseeing the vaccine registration system, said as more sites open they will be able to do more vaccinations, and also appealed to those who have registered on the system, but are yet to receive confirmatory SMS, to be patient.
“We know about you, you are on the register and when there’s a site that is near where you live, you will be invited to come for a vaccination. The only people who are registering currently are people over the age of 60, there’s no particular way in which we discriminate. So we would appeal to people to be patient,” Crisp told SAfm.
Following Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize's announcement last week that due to a recent scientific discovery, recipients of the Pfizer two-dose vaccine regime will wait 42 days between doses, Crisp said the system had already been reprogrammed in line with the new updates.
He added that any previous appointments people were given are not going to be valid.
Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has expressed concern about the “snail-paced” vaccine roll out. The union said government would not meet the target in the roll out plan.
A total of 761 903 people have been vaccinated so far and of the total number of doses administered, 282 135 were done using the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine under Phase 2 of the national vaccine roll out.
However, the Union says these figures must be taken with a pinch of salt, given that the departments in various provinces want to advance the propaganda that the vaccine is rolling out smoothly.
According to the union, the slow pace will continue for the foreseeable future, and is due to several factors:
- Firstly, there was an insufficient procurement of vaccines, mainly because government accepted the Covax system pushed on the World Health Organisation by imperial powers and philanthropists aiming to protect Intellectual Property (IP) and Big Pharma profits.
- Secondly, South Africa apparently still suffers from a lack of storage and transportation to allow the vaccines to reach distribution sites on time.
- Thirdly, there is a lack of capacity at vaccination sites.
- Finally, whomever insisted on mainly online registration for vaccinations does not understand the digital divide.