Healthcare professionals are a trusted source of COVID-19 vaccine information

Healthcare professionals provide credible insights into COVID-19 for patients worldwide. With Phase 2 of our national vaccine-rollout programme currently underway, many patients will need guidance from trusted doctors on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. This healthcare-professional-led guidance is a key pillar in ensuring the success of the rollout.

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is common on social media and other digital platforms. Never has the voice of trusted healthcare professionals been more relevant in helping patients separate fact from fiction in making their decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This is particularly relevant when it comes to information about the safety, efficacy and means of accessing COVID-19 vaccines.

As the country currently underway with Phase 2 of the national vaccine programme, Discovery calls on healthcare professionals to play their part in making our vaccine rollout a success by sharing key vaccine-related insights with their patients. Healthcare professional behaviour is also inspirational as the public is inspired by how doctors across the world overwhelmingly accepted COVID-19 vaccines for themselves and their loved ones.

Vaccines don't save lives - vaccinations do. With this in mind, patients must get the right information.

What is Discovery doing to make it easy for your patients to access their COVID-19 vaccine?

At Discovery, we're doing all we can to make our national vaccine-rollout programme a resounding success. With our clients' health and wellbeing always top of mind, we've invested in our own mass vaccination programme - one that will roll out nationwide in the coming weeks and months.

One of our aims is to quickly and efficiently vaccinate three million adult members of medical schemes administered by Discovery Health. Our vaccination programme is open to all Discovery clients, bringing them access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they qualify, in line with the South Africa's phased vaccination process. We can vaccinate up to 50 000 people a day, depending on vaccine supply.

What must your patients do to get their COVID-19 vaccine?

Step 1: Register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). Registration on the EVDS provides your patient with a vaccination code that they will need to present on the day of their scheduled vaccination. The National Department of Health manages this process.

Step 2: Discovery clients are invited to then register on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal.

Discovery clients will be invited to register on Discovery's COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. The platform provides access to benefits tailored to their COVID-19 vaccination journey. This includes:

  • A view of where they fit into the national prioritisation framework.
  • Access to information on what to expect when being vaccinated and how to prepare for it.
  • A chance to take part in our post-vaccination survey and share post-vaccine symptoms - whether mild, moderate or serious - so we can help them or guide them to a healthcare provider.

More key information for your patients

Where can your patients access their vaccine?
Discovery is setting up a number of dedicated vaccination sites for your and your patients' convenience, and we will share location details through the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. Vaccines will be administered in accredited vaccination sites across the country, including pharmacies, GP practices, hospitals, and other dedicated vaccination sites.

When can your patients access a vaccine?
Vaccines will be administered in phases according to a national prioritisation framework and not on a first-come-first-served basis. This phased approach ensures that at-risk patients get the vaccine first.

How is your patient's vaccine funded?

Patients who are members of a medical scheme administered by Discovery Health will have the cost of a vaccination at an accredited vaccination site covered in full. Members of other medical schemes will be covered through each scheme's risk pool of funds.

  • The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has declared that funding for the COVID-19 vaccine is a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB). This means all medical schemes must, by law, fund the COVID-19 vaccine as a PMB for every member of the scheme (in line with South Africa's vaccine prioritisation guidelines. Consumers who are not members of a medical scheme) receive the vaccine through government-funded structures.
  • Feel free to share our detailed COVID-19 vaccine FAQ for Discovery Health Medical Scheme members with your patients.

When will your patients receive and invitation to register on the Discovery portal?
To ensure that we prioritise and protect our elderly and our high-risk clients, we are taking a staggered approach to registration on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. We will send out personalised invitations over the next few weeks to the below groups in order of risk categories.

  1. Group A: All clients older than 80 years.
  2. Group B: All clients older than 60 years but younger than 80 years.
  3. Group C: All clients younger than 60 years with underlying medical conditions.
  4. Group D: All clients younger than 60 years with no pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities.

We ask your help in sharing this news

Remind your patients to look out for their invitation to register on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. We will send the invitation to them over the next few weeks and in line with the national phased approach.

Encourage your patients to help elderly and high-risk loved ones, especially if they are not digitally enabled, to complete their registration on the EVDS and Discovery Vaccination Portal when they receive their invitation.

Let your patients know that they can visit our COVID-19 vaccine hub or access our WhatsApp service to get instant answers to any questions they may have.

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