With the COVID-19 vaccines issued in South Africa, it is time for South Africans to decide if they will get the jab. While only people over the age of 60, along with healthcare workers, are being vaccinated currently, it is worth knowing the basics of registering to be vaccinated and the benefits.
It’s not the cure
Like the common flu, COVID-19 can’t be cured. The virus is continuously mutating. The vaccine can’t prevent someone from contracting the coronavirus. Instead, the vaccine helps build up the immune system so that when someone encounters the COVID-19 virus, it is better equipped to fight the virus.
In simple terms, the vaccine will lessen your changes of ending up in the hospital on a ventilator. You are more likely to have mild or no COVID-19 symptoms. For individuals who are already at risk of falling severely ill (hospitalisation), such as people with co-morbidities (for example, high blood pressure), the vaccine is a great way to improve your health.
It’s not an excuse to stop wearing a mask
While the vaccine can better protect you against falling severely ill, it can’t protect those around you. It is believed that vaccinated individuals could still be carriers of the disease. Therefore, it is best to still practice social distancing, wearing a mask and staying home as much as possible.
How to get vaccinated
Only South Africans over the age of 60 and healthcare workers can register to be vaccinated. However, it is good to know what to do when the opportunity to register comes around. Here’s how to register:
- Visit the government vaccination registration website: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/.
- Enter your ID number.
- Complete the “general information” section, which requests some personal information such as contact numbers.
- Provide your employment information in the next session.
- If you are a medical aid member, be sure to have this information at hand for the registration process.
- Provide information on your “primary location of work”.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
Thereafter, the website will confirm that the registration was successful. You should also receive an SMS.
You can update your information, although, this will require re-registering for the vaccine on the website. The government will inform you when you can visit your local centre to be vaccinated.
For more information and detailed instructions, view the government’s official guide: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_documents/EVDS_Registration%20User%20Guide.pdf