Covid-19 vaccine certificate for South Africa launched – but is it already crashing? – My Comments

[It seems the system is, er buggy. My own experience with a lot of South African computer systems these days is that they are unstable and they'll even lose all the data in their database. When I look at the behaviour of this one, it looks like it's going to be unstable. I am wondering if this system could have other weaknesses. I'm glad when the clown show is busy, especially in such important matters. Jan]

The National Department of Health launched South Africa’s Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate System on Tuesday.

Vaccinated people can retrieve their digital vaccine certificate by going to the website and selecting “Get my vaccine certificate”.

From here, they will be required to enter their details, including an ID, passport, or refugee seeker number, and their Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) number.

You must supply a Proof of Vaccination code and not the vaccine code you were issued when booking through the EVDS.

Those who received the Pfizer vaccine would have received two Proof of Vaccination codes.

After this is done, you must confirm your cellphone number registered on the EVDS. The system will send an OTP to that number which you must enter to proceed.

One MyBroadband employee successfully retrieved their vaccine certificate, while two others struggled and were presented with network errors.

The vaccination card contained personal details of the vaccinated person, what vaccine they received, and when it was administered.

That was accompanied by a QR code which will presumably be used to verify the certificate as legitimate.

The department states it will be readable using a QR code scanner specific to the Vaccine Certificate System that will be available at a later stage.

The vaccination card can also be downloaded in a PDF that can be printed as a physical document.

The screenshot below shows what the vaccination card looks like. Not included in the image is a notice that the vaccination card is only valid for three months from the issue date.

President Cyril Ramaphosa previously announced the vaccine certificate would be a secure and verifiable proof of vaccination for South Africa.

“This certificate can be used to facilitate travel, [and] to access establishments, gatherings, and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination status,” Ramaphosa stated.

“Our approach on this matter is informed by World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and is in line with international best practice.”

Ramaphosa added that standardising a proof of vaccination would help relax international travel restrictions against South Africa.

“If the majority of our population is vaccinated, we can declare South Africa to be a safe destination and welcome tourists back over the summer season,” Ramaphosa said.

“We can also resume sporting events and concerts, and lift restrictions on restaurants and bars and encourage people to return safely to their workplaces, shops, and public spaces.”

Update – System still being tested

Editor-in-chief at the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Mia Malan, said the site was not officially live yet, but is currently being tested.

Users may therefore experience intermittent issues when trying to use the site.


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