COVID-19 vaccine rollout for healthcare workers – FAQ

Disclaimer: Information courtesy of the National Department of Health (09 Feb 2021)

WHEN WILL SOUTH AFRICA RECEIVE VACCINES?  South Africa received 1 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on 01 February 2021. New information that the AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against the 501Y.V2 variant means that further research is needed in South Africa, since the AstraZeneca vaccine has shown good results in other countries.

The vaccine rollout plan has not changed, except that healthcare workers will be receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The J&J vaccine has proved effective again the COVID-19 501Y.V2 variant.

The Government has furthermore secured the following:

  • 12 million doses in total from the global COVAX facility, of which approximately 2 million doses are expected by March
  • 9 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, commencing with delivery in the second quarter of 2021. Johnson & Johnson has contracted Aspen to manufacture these vaccines in South Africa
  • Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses commencing with deliveries in the second quarter of 2021

HOW WILL HEALTHCARE WORKERS GET THE VACCINE? All healthcare workers, who wish to be vaccinated, have to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS ), a national register for COVID-19 vaccinations. Healthcare workers include non-clinical and traditional healers. Vaccinated healthcare workers will be placed on a national register and provided with a vaccination card.

The vaccine will be distributed through work-based programmes, which are best for hospital-based staff, especially at district level private and public hospitals. approach, that begins with the most vulnerable in our population.

HOW DOES THE EVDS WORK? Healthcare workers have to register on the system to get an appointment. Those who qualify will be sent a notification through SMS, with a unique code, informing them of the time and place where their injection will be administered. Healthcare workers will have to present their unique code (received through SMS), their original ID document, valid driver’s license, passport or affidavit at the vaccination site.

There are plans to send reminders for follow-up appointments (to receive the 2nd dosage) and to develop a dashboard system to capture the reasons given for vaccine refusal.


For insured healthcare workers, funding will be derived from their medical schemes and administered for free at the point of service. Uninsured healthcare workers will be funded by Government. The vaccination will be free at the point of service.

For more information about the overall vaccine strategy rollout, click here.

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