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United Kingdom WILL accept SA’s digital vaccination certificate, says Joe Phaahla

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Oct 8, 2021

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The United Kingdom (UK) will accept South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination certificate for access into the country.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla officially launched the digital vaccination certificate during a media briefing on Friday.

The UK government announced on Thursday that South Africa and 47 other countries would be removed from its red list from 4am on Monday 11 October.

Fully vaccinated South Africans will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in England, which usually costs over R46 000.

Phaahla said with the launch of the vaccination certificate South Africans can expect more sports and recreational activities, entertainment and music festivals to open up for those who are fully vaccinated.

“We are very pleased that the UK government has announced that they've taken our country off the red list. It will be easier to travel, but even more exciting for us was the announcement by the UK that they will be recognising the digital health certificate,” he said.

Director of the KZN Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Tulio de Oliveira said he is glad that scientific interactions between South Africa and the UK worked.

“Important now to keep focused to control the pandemic, increase vaccination and strengthen genomics surveillance in Africa,” he said.

The digital vaccine certificate was developed in partnership with the health department and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The Health Department’s Milani Wolmarans, who is heading up the vaccination certificate system, said there are various cyber security specialists involved in the system upkeep.

The system creates a digital copy of proof of vaccination and allows users to access a QR code showing their vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated South Africans can access their certificate via mobile device or downloaded as a PDF, and it is linked to the vaccination code issued by the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

Wolmarans said in order to access the digital certificate, people would need to input their ID number, cell phone number, full names and vaccination code.

“Over the next four days, we will resend the post-vaccination codes via SMS. But it will be in batches over time. You can also phone the national Covid-19 hotline where one of the agents will be able to give you a code,” she said.

To download your vaccine certificate, visit vaccine.certificate.health.gov.za.

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