Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that online registrations for phase 2 of the country’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout will officially open at 16h00 on Friday (16 April).
In a media briefing on Friday morning, the Health minister said that qualifying workers will be able to sign up for the vaccine through the government’s electronic vaccination data system (EVDS).
Mkhize said that phase 2 of the country’s rollout will initially focus on people who are over 60 years of age.
He said that the vaccine rollout will open to younger age groups as more South Africans are vaccinated.
Those who qualify will be sent a notification through SMS informing them of the time and place that the vaccine will be available. It will also come with a unique code that patients will be required to show to their vaccinator.
Patients are also expected to provide their ID and a contact number when at the vaccination site. These vaccination sites will be a combination of public and private options, with some workplaces also set to offer vaccinations, he said.
The official phase 2 rollout is expected to begin from 17 May.
Mkhize also has announced the establishment of the no-fault compensation fund this week, as the country gears up for its mass Covid-19 vaccine rollout programme.
The fund’s purpose is to provide quick and easy access to compensation to anyone who may suffer injury as a result of the vaccines, with liability falling on government, not the vaccine manufacturers.
The minister said the fund guarantees that every citizen’s rights are fully protected during the inoculation process and that there is sufficient recourse should anyone experience vaccine damages.
In the structure of the fund, Mkhize said there has been no undertaking by any manufacturers to contribute, and this will mainly be a government-funded exercise.
“Retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo has graciously agreed to assist us with the mammoth task of chairing the first-of-its-kind fund,” said Mkhize.
He said Judge Ngcobo’s extensive experience as a jurist, including having headed the Constitutional Court, and his recent experience in health-related complexities, such as the Health Market Inquiry chair, makes him an ideal candidate.
“He will able to oversee all claims and uphold the principles of fairness, transparency, equity and constitutional rights of our citizens,” said Mkhize.