Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, has reminded everyone older than 18-years-old that they can now walk in at any vaccination site without having registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
However, the Minister has encouraged people to self-register first.
“The option remains of even just walking into a vaccination site without registration, but this definitely will make you likely to take more time, because it means if you have not self-registered, they first have to start with your registration,” the Minister said on Friday during a media briefing.
This comes after the country opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to those aged between 18 and 34 years old from today.
“So we again encourage, especially as we move to the 18 years, who we believe most of them are very familiar with smartphones with internet and WhatsApp and other forms of registration.”
He believes that the youngsters can easily make sure that they have signed up before they visit the vaccination centres, which not only saves time for the vaccines but the staff as well.
“The benefit of opening up early amongst the 18 years plus is that now we can say all the vaccines have been certified to be safe and all these adults can be vaccinated. We can now cut out, administrative and bureaucratic red tape, because as long as you have an ID which means you are over 18, you can be registered.”
In addition, he said the vaccination at workplaces can now take place without the hindrance of age differentiation.
“In other words, when we reach the workplace we no more worry about who is over 18 and below.”
Meanwhile, he also announced that vaccination for travellers for business or educational purposes would no longer require approval for an advanced vaccination.
According to Phaahla, this move will also give over 700 000 tertiary students who are now eligible to receive a jab a chance to be protected against the COVID-19 pandemic and serious illnesses.
In addition, he also called on pregnant women, who are mainly between the age of 18 and 35 to also get the life-saving vaccine.
According to the Minister, opening the vaccination of youngsters almost 11 days early has the potential to add 17 million young adults into the immunisation pool, which will contribute to the population immunity.
He believes that this will assist government to reach 70% of the adult population, translating to 30 million vaccinated people.
“Just to remind viewers and listeners is that the 40 million we are targeting is as a 70% of the total population. However, when you talk about adult population 18 and above, we would reach 70% by reaching 30 million.”