Home South African Health department confident electronic vaccine registration portal will not crash

Health department confident electronic vaccine registration portal will not crash

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The Department of Health says it is confident that the Electronic Vaccine Data System self-registration portal, which will be used to register health workers to get vaccinated, will not crash.

Novavax vaccine trials run in South Africa and the UK indicate that its efficacy in the UK was 89%. Picture; Pexels / RF stud

Johannesburg – The Department of Health says it is confident that the Electronic Vaccine Data System self-registration portal, which will be used to register health workers to get vaccinated, will not crash.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize launched the EVDS portal on this morning, saying that more than 34 000 health workers had registered to get vaccinated.

On Monday, a million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine touched down at OR Tambo International Airport from India.

The vaccines are being kept under lock and key and will undergo quality checks by the National Health Services national laboratory facility in Bloemfontein before it is administered in about two weeks.

Dr Milani Wolmarans, the Health Department’s acting chief operating officer, said the new portal would not crash even if a million people registered on the site. She said there was a lot of pressure that was exerted on the team developing the system to ensure that it was proficient.

“It will not crash even after a million register on the portal because the EVDS is built on the health patients register, which already manages 59 million medical records.

“We have put all the measures in place to ensure it does not crash,” she said.

Wolmarans said, at worst, there could be delays or lag on the system.

“If you have a huge number of people getting on the system, it might delay. All we expect is there could be a delay and we have done extensive testing to ensure this goes as smooth as possible,” said Wolmarans.

Once a health worker – which includes support staff at hospitals and clinics such as security guards, cleaners, porters and anyone who would come in contact with patients – had registered on the portal, the EVDS would verify the application to confirm eligibility.

“If they are working in patient care, they can be registered (for vaccination). Anyone who comes in contact with patients – security guards, porters, cleaners and traditional healers – everyone who is at risk of being exposed can be registered,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize said that would include medical students and interns in the health sector, while Wolmarans said the push was to ensure that as many front-line workers as possible would be vaccinated in a day, once the inoculation started.

“This is the beginning of a complete vaccination health information system from registration to certification,” said Mkhize.

“This system has been developed with that purpose in mind to ensure that we lay solid foundations for digital health information systems that inform the right national policies and interventions.

“We are making excellent strides by leveraging off existing digital infrastructure and focusing our energy and capability on interoperability.”

Mkhize said the portal would be able to receive information from all nine provinces, including the Western Cape, which would operate its own vaccine data system.

“Numerous other systems will feed into the EVDS. The system can capture the relevant metrics of all South Africans that will be vaccinated; ensure vaccinees are contactable and alerted to optimise adherence to the regimen; and complete the certification process such that vaccine certificates are easy to obtain for vaccinees and authorities that may require the certification.”

Front-line workers in the public and private sector can register on this website vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.

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