Understanding the progress of SA's vaccine rollout plan


With our country's vaccine rollout underway, we update you on developments to date. Find out who is being prioritised for vaccination at each stage of the process.

  • Phase one of the country's vaccine rollout programme began on 17 February. This phase represented the Sisonke Trial in which Johnson & Johnson donated 500 000 of its single-dose vaccines to South Africa to accelerate vaccination of frontline healthcare workers. Just under 500 000 healthcare workers (479 768) were vaccinated under Sisonke, which ended in mid-May.
  • The country's aims to vaccinate 1.25 million healthcare workers in total.
  • Phase two, which began on 17 May, includes:
    • Vaccinating healthcare workers who were not vaccinated in Phase 1A (they are now being vaccinated under Phase 1B, a part of Phase 2) and;
    • Vaccinating 6 million adults who are over the age of 60, followed by 4.8 million adults aged 50 to 59 (vaccinations for this group begin on 15 July) and 6.9 million adults aged 40 to 50.
    • This includes people in congregate settings (such as prisons) and essential workers such as teachers (whose vaccinations began on 23 June)
  • Phase 3 will involve vaccinating the remaining adult population of approximately 23.5 million people between the ages of 18 and 40
    • Registrations for people aged 35 to 49 will open up on 15 July and the rollout for those registered in this age group will begin on 1 August 2021.

Overall the country aims to vaccinate 41.7 million adult residents by the end of the vaccination programme.

Which vaccines are being rolled out in South Africa?

On 3 July the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) authorised the Chinese Coronavac vaccine (Sinovac vaccine) to be used in South Africa. These two-dose vaccines are set to be used alongside the Pfizer/BioNtech (also two-dose) and Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines currently being used in the country.

  • Vaccines are being administered at public and private vaccination centres throughout the country.

Source: Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism

Here's how you can register for your COVID-19 vaccination

Step 1: (Compulsory) Register on the national EVDS. This is required by the National Department of Health for all South Africans. Once you have registered on the EVDS, you will get a vaccination code to use on the day of your scheduled vaccination. The National Department of Health manages this process.

Step 2: Everybody can then register and book on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Navigator.

  • A view of where you fit into the national prioritisation framework.
  • Access to information on what to expect when being vaccinated and how to prepare for this.
  • Information on accredited vaccination sites nationwide where vaccinations will be done (including pharmacies, GP practices and hospitals, and dedicated vaccination sites), and the location of Discovery's dedicated vaccination sites.
  • Reminders of your upcoming second dose, if you get a two-dose vaccine.
  • Access to a digital version of your vaccination card for safe keeping.

Find out all you need to know about registering on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal today.

Related articles

5 min read
There's never been a more important time to protect yourself against COVID-19 misinformation. Debunking misinformation is essential when it comes to the safety and efficacy of delivering vaccines to fight the virus.
5 min read
On Friday, 18 December 2020, Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize,announced that a new variant - called the '501.V2 variant' - of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 disease) had been identified in South Africa. How does a variant originate? What does this mean for you? How does this affect our vaccine roll-out?
5 min read
COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Other conditions caused by viruses include the common cold, flu, measles, chickenpox and many more.Watch this video by Johns Hopkins Medicine to understand how coronaviruses work and what they do once they infect a host.

All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for education and information objectives only. Discovery publishes content to help to promote a better understand of COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations. The content covered is an overview of key concepts and is not exhaustive in nature. We encourage further reading from other credible sources where necessary.

South African organisations:

  • National Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 portal: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
  • National Institute for Communicable Diseases' (part of the National Health Laboratory Service) dedicated COVID-19 hub
  • South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAPRHA - part of the National Department of Health).
  • South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
  • South African Medical Journal (SAMJ)

International Organisations:

Log in

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id