Home health Vaccine registration system not running as smoothly as projected

Vaccine registration system not running as smoothly as projected

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The government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS ) has come in for criticism.

File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

THE ELECTRONIC Vaccination Data System (EVDS ) has come in for criticism as reports have emerged that people under the age of 30 are able to register for the Covid-19 vaccine, with some even getting appointment dates for their jabs, although the vaccines are at present meant to be restricted to the over-60s.

Also, there were some reports from people who did receive SMS appointments – but that these were at short notice or required them to go to a vaccination centre far away. There were also many over-60s who had registered on the EVDS, but who have not yet received notification of appointments for the jab.

Sixty-four-year-old Beverly Daniels told Independent Media that she first registered on April 23, but had only received acknowledgement of registration, and nothing further.

“I then re-registered on the 18th of May, called the call centre and they informed us that we were registered and would receive an SMS in 48 hours telling us where and when to go for the vaccine. To date, we have received nothing; what must we do?” she asked.

The system is yet to issue SMSes notifying vaccinees of their second-dose appointments. On Tuesday, the Department of Health closed the site for new health care worker registrations.

“We will be communicating the new process once it is finalised to the health care professionals who have not registered on EVDS previously, but want to receive a vaccine,” said Health Department deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay.

“Those who were previously registered on the system can still proceed to book their appointments,” added Pillay.

The site opened for registration to people over 60 on April 16, ahead of the national roll-out, which began on May 17. As of Monday evening, 651,628 shots had been administered, approximately 480,000 of which went to health care workers inoculated under the Sisonke study with Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine.

Chairperson of the SA Medical Association (Sama) Dr Angelique Coetzee says they are aware the system is not running as smoothly as projected.

“We are aware that they are sending SMSes or WhatsApp messages less than 24 hours before patients need to come for their vaccine. It would be more prudent to plan this much better to give the elderly people 2 to 3 days to prepare.

’’There’s a lot of logistics around the elderly. In order to make this process run much smoother, they need to have a good, working EVDS,” she said.