COVID-19 Vaccination Programme


Adrian Gore shares key insights about the country's mass COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. Find out more about vaccine doses secured for South Africa to date, priority groups in the rollout, how to register on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Navigator and more!

Phase 2 of the country's mass COVID-19 Vaccination Programme kicked off successfully on 17 May

"Phase 2 marked a significant turning point in the battle against COVID-19, as implementation ramps up in the pursuit of scale," said Discovery Group Chief Executive, Adrian Gore. "The Government-led process is largely on track to achieve what it set out to do - start in mid-May, vaccinate people over 60 years old by mid-winter, and vaccinate the rest of the population during 2021."

"The successful vaccine rollout will result in thousands of lives being saved and is critical to building the economy. The faster we can roll out the vaccines, the quicker we can realise these benefits. We all need to choose vaccination."

Here's what you need to know about the current status of our national vaccine rollout

  • The country has secured a total of 62 million doses of vaccines (31 million of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 31 million of the single-dose J&J vaccine).
  • These doses are enough to vaccinate 42 million people.
  • Delivery of these doses is spread over the year, accelerating in the third and fourth quarters.
  • Vaccine deliveries have been underway to approved vaccination sites across the public and private sectors.
  • Sites will be expanded over time to reach over 3 000 sites at the peak of the rollout.

Who is prioritised for vaccination during the rollout?

Over five million citizens - including the elderly (those over 60 years of age and those living in congregate settings, for example, retirement villages and nursing homes) and approximately 700 000 healthcare workers who were not vaccinated in Phase 1 - were eligible for vaccination in Phase 2 of the national vaccination rollout.

  • Phase 1 was run as a clinical trial (the Sisonke trial) through which 480 000 healthcare workers were vaccinated. This trial ended on 15 May, ahead of the transition to Phase 2 on 17 May.

If you're eligible to be vaccinated, here's what you need to do

Step 1: (Compulsory) Register on the national Electronic Vaccination Data System. 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: Discovery clients can then register and book for their vaccination on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Navigator. . Discovery clients are invited to register and book for their vaccination so they can access added benefits tailored to their COVID-19 vaccination journey. This includes a host of support, such as:

  • 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 given (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 your internationally accredited vaccination certificate.

Once you're registered we will support you with all the information you need at every step of your vaccination journey.

How Discovery is supporting the country's mass COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

"Discovery is setting up several vaccination sites to support the mass COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, and to assist Discovery clients and members of our administered schemes to access vaccinations," says Adrian. "These sites will be operated by Discovery Health and will be set up in a phased approach, ultimately resulting in more than 20 sites across the country. Our head office, 1 Discovery Place in Sandton, is one of these sites. "

How is the cost of your COVID-19 vaccine covered?

"Vaccination is free at the vaccination site for every South African resident," says Adrian. "For medical scheme members, the costs of vaccines and vaccination will be funded by their medical scheme, with no impact to your medical savings accounts and available benefits."

"Let's do all we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities"

"Nationally, weekly excess deaths remain at just over 1 000 more than in pre-pandemic times."

Research shows that COVID-19 is an airborne disease and the highest exposure for disease transmission is indoors, in crowded places, and particularly where there is poor ventilation. "This is a significant risk as we move into winter when people prefer to huddle indoors. The best way to mitigate this risk is to opt for outdoor gatherings, keep windows and doors open when indoors, ensure socially distanced get-togethers, and particularly, wear a mask at all times," adds Adrian.

"If we remain vigilant and achieve widespread vaccination, many deaths can be prevented."

Adrian affirms Discovery's commitment to doing everything possible to assist in making sure that the mass COVID-19 Vaccination Programme is successful for all South Africans. "This is a key lesson we have learned globally - population immunity is critical to our collective wellbeing. In conclusion, I want to reiterate our commitment to making the rollout successful and to getting our members vaccinated as soon as possible. Little is more important right now."

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:
  • 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:

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