The South African government has officially launched its digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate on Friday (8 October), for individuals to provide proof of their vaccination status using a QR code.
Health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said in a media briefing that the certificate could be used to enable vaccinated people access to the following:
- Sports and recreation events;
- Music festivals and other entertainment events;
- Travel and tourism.
Phaahla did not specify which events would be included, stating that the certificate has been developed as a ‘tool’ to allow for the further opening of the country’s economy. He said it is now up to the country’s sports and recreation bodiest to implement.
“Our role is really to make this tool available to the nation so that we can provide people with proof of vaccination. This is so that they can have access to many amenities and activities which many of us have been missing.”
Phaahla said that the certificate should also be recognised internationally, with the UK confirming that South Africans can use the document to gain access to the country in a statement on Thursday evening.
“We call on all South Africans and other nationals in our country to come forward and be vaccinated. We now have a window of opportunity to protect ourselves ahead of an expected fourth wave (of infections) later this year.
“The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. Very few vaccinated people are falling ill.”
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) October 8, 2021
How to get your certificate
The Covid-19 vaccine certificate can be accessed through an online portal. It is only available to people fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with users required to fill in their contact details, including their ID number and Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) code.
Upon entering these details, users will be sent a one-time pin confirming the authenticity of the information they have provided. The pin can then be entered to access the final, digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate.
The department said that the QR code is not meant for general public use but will instead be used by specific entities that will use a specialised QR scanner.
Phaahla stressed that this is still ‘phase one’ of the certificate, with more security features set to be introduced in the coming months.
On Thursday (7 October), South Africa reported a total of 18,735,127 vaccines administered, with 224,184 jabs over the last 24 hours.