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South Africa to roll out paperless COVID-19 vaccine ID system

Covid-19 Vaccine
(Image credit: solarseven / Shutterstock)

Government has plans to develop an electronic vaccination data system (EVDS) that will facilitate the COVID-19 vaccination process across South Africa.

The digital system will help the vaccine roll-out beginning in early February. It will essentially create an electronic health record that will track demographics, the dosage numbers taken by a person, which hospital administered the vaccination and a vaccination record issued to individuals. 

Deputy Director-General (DDG) Dr Anban Pillay said the system will also track the vaccine and the vehicles transporting them at a presentation of SA’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy on Sunday, January 17.

“We have learnt from the distribution in other countries that the safety and theft of vaccines is a problem. There’ll be a track and trace of vaccines using barcode scanning as well as the safe and secure disposal of these packaging, vials and data verification linked to the volumes that have been submitted,” he said. 

The system will send notifications for follow-up appointments for individuals to receive their second dose and a track-and-trace network will exist for those who do not get their second shot.

For the anti-vaxxers, a dashboard will be created to capture the reason why they won't take the vaccine. 

All South Africans who do get vaccinated will be placed on a national register and given a vaccination card.

There is no word yet on who is developing the system but indications point to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and Oracle, according to IOL. 

In a nutshell, the system will support the collection and provision of:

  • Patient information including demographics
  • Health establishment where service is accessible (name and type, e.g. clinic)
  • Vaccine administered (manufacturer, batch number, etc.)
  • Safety information as part of a pharmacovigilance plan (Adverse Events Following Immunisation – AEFI)