How long will you wait for a Covid-19 vaccination appointment? Here the answer 7 EVDS questions

How long will you wait for a Covid-19 vaccination appointment? Here the answer 7 EVDS questions

In city areas, the digital vaccination knowledge system (EVDS) will allocate a website inside 10km of your work or dwelling. In rural areas, it will be inside 30km of the handle you entered.
The system received’t permit you to register if you’re not a well being employee or over 60, till the well being division opens up the following class for registration.
An inventory of vaccination websites will quickly be revealed on the federal government’s coronavirus website and will be up to date every week.
This week, the EVDS despatched out the nation’s first textual content messages for Covid-19 vaccination appointments – however not with out issues.

All the healthcare staff, and folks of 60-years-old or older, who obtained messages bought the notifications on brief discover, principally the afternoon or night time earlier than the day of their appointments. This resulted in a lot of them being unable to make the appointments and led to questions on social media about the right way to reschedule a session.

Load shedding additionally disabled the EVDS at instances and vaccinators due to this fact usually needed to report vaccinations manually, as a substitute of straight onto the EVDS.

Moreover, on the primary day of the rollout, some individuals who had obtained appointment messages arrived at websites the place they have been turned away as a result of vaccinators hadn’t been knowledgeable that they have been booked for appointments, attributable to a glitch within the system.

But Nicholas Crisp, the deputy director basic accountable for South Africa’s National Health Insurance system, who additionally helps to handle the implementation of the vaccine rollout, says most of those issues have now been addressed.

We requested him to answer seven of the questions.

1. How does the EVDS resolve which vaccination website to ship you to for an appointment?

The system will mechanically allocate a website to you that’s near the house or work handle that you entered. In city areas, it will allocate a website inside 10km of that handle and in rural areas a centre inside 30km of the place you dwell or work.

2. How long after you registered on the EVDS will you obtain an SMS for an appointment?

There isn’t any set time for how long this will take. Why? Because it is dependent upon what number of lively vaccination websites there are within the space the place you dwell. If you dwell in a city the place there are a number of websites, you’ll obtain an SMS faster than somebody who resides in a a part of the nation the place there are at the moment few or no websites.

The variety of vaccines allotted to a website relies on the variety of individuals the EVDS has booked at that website. As extra websites turn into obtainable, the time that you will wait between registering on the EVDS and receiving an appointment message will turn into shorter.

This week began off with 87 vaccination websites, however extra websites are being added every day as extra employees are skilled to make use of the system. The purpose is to have 200 websites by the top of this week.

READ | EXPLAINER: What occurs if you miss your scheduled vaccination?

A website listing, that will include all private and non-private vaccination websites, will be revealed on sacoronavirus.co.za (the well being division hasn’t but introduced a date for this). The listing will be up to date weekly, as not all websites will be lively on a regular basis. The site list that is currently (May 19) on the website shouldn’t be the section one B and two websites; it’s a listing of the 92 websites that have been used for South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine implementation research, Sisonke. Some of these websites are additionally getting used for the section one B and two rollout, however not all.

The EVDS follows the rule “first in, first out”: So those that registered first, will get appointments first. In different phrases, if you fall within the individuals of 60 years and older class, and you’re 80, however registered after somebody who’s 65, the one that is 65 will get an appointment earlier than you.

However, this doesn’t apply to the broader rollout plan, the place age is, the truth is, a issue: People of 60 and older are vaccinated earlier than people who find themselves 40 and older, and though these two teams each fall into section two of the rollout, individuals of 60 and older are served first. But with out a sure class, comparable to individuals of 60 and older or individuals of 40 and older, the EVDS doesn’t allocate appointments based mostly on age, however on who registered first.

A person receives a jab containing Pfizer vaccine from a healthcare employee on the Karl Bremer Hospital in Cape Town.

3. Can you at the moment register if you’re not a healthcare employee or particular person of 60 and older?

No. The EVDS received’t permit you to try this till the well being division publicizes that the following class (individuals dwelling in crowded environments comparable to prisons, and folks of 40 and older) can register. In the case of well being staff, a particular person wants to point that they’re a well being employee and arrive at a website with proof of their employment.

If you’re youthful than 60, the EVDS will mechanically calculate your age out of your ID quantity and inform you you’re too younger to get vaccinated proper now. If you don’t have an ID quantity, you’d should enter your age and supply proof of how previous you are at a vaccination website.

The vaccination rollout makes use of age, relatively than comorbidities to find out when you will get vaccinated. People with comorbidities received’t be prioritised for vaccination, as a result of studies have shown that age is a fair stronger predictor than comorbidities for whether or not or not you will find yourself in hospital or die due to Covid-19. Many comorbidities are additionally more common among older people, which signifies that a sizable portion of comorbidities are mechanically coated if older individuals are vaccinated first.

4. Can you register twice?

Technically, it’s doable to register twice on the EVDS. If you’d like to vary your particulars, for occasion, change your handle, you’d should register once more — this fashion, your particulars will be up to date. But the well being division doesn’t advocate that you re-register and says the variety of instances that you register received’t make a distinction to how quickly you will be given an appointment date.

5. What occurs if you missed your vaccination appointment or if a vaccination website ran out of vaccines and couldn’t assist you?

The brief answer: The EVDS will mechanically reschedule you for a subsequent appointment and ship you an SMS with a date.

The longer model: The EVDS has an algorithm that will detect if you missed an appointment (as a result of a vaccinator wouldn’t have confirmed your vaccination by coming into your voucher quantity into the system) after which reschedule you – however solely for as much as two instances.

How quickly you will obtain an SMS for a new appointment is dependent upon what number of vaccination centres there are within the space the place you dwell (in different phrases, how quickly a gap turns into obtainable).

READ | EXPLAINER: 5 issues you have to find out about section two vaccinations

If you missed two appointments, you will should re-register on the system. You can do this by re-registering on-line by way of the web site, WhatsApp or USSD service, by visiting a website the place an administrative group will assist you re-register, or by calling the Covid helpline on 0800 029 999 and ask them to re-register you. The helpline quantity is toll free from each a landline and cellphone. The vaccination helpline is lively from 8:00 to 18:00 and managed by an outdoor company. When you name the helpline you will be requested to press one” for general Covid-related health information (don’t choose this option), and “two” for help to register for a vaccination (choose this option).

6. How do you schedule an appointment if you’re on medical aid?

The EVDS will ask you if you have a medical aid. If you do, you will need to enter the name of the scheme and also your medical aid number.

Some medical schemes, such as Discovery Health, will also ask you to register on a separate system, so that they can send you information about vaccines. You will, however, still need to register on the EVDS, as it’s the only way to book an appointment, regardless of whether you’re vaccinated at a public or private site, or have medical insurance.

Your medical aid has to follow the rules of the rollout, so they’re only allowed to vaccinate a certain age group once the health department has announced that the age group has become eligible for vaccination. A medical scheme can, for instance, not vaccinate people of 40 and older if the health department has determined that only people of 60 and older can be vaccinated at that time.

7. What happens if you don’t have any form of ID such as an identity document, passport, asylum seeking or refugee number?

The health department is working on a system that will allow people without identity documents to get vaccinated, as South Africa also has thousands of undocumented migrants as well as people in prison and mental health institutions without identity documents. Details of this system have, however, not yet been announced.

This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. Sign up for the newsletter.

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