Here’s how to register for COVID-19 vaccine via WhatsApp and SMS

COVID-19 vaccine South Africa
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

South Africans can now register via WhatsApp and SMS to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose, the Department of Health has announced.

The Department has launched the WhatsApp and SMS vaccine registration portal as the country gears for phase 2 and 3 of its vaccination programme.

Phase 2 is set to commence on Monday, 17 May 2021. It will focus on those aged 60 years and older as well as healthcare workers who missed out on vaccination during phase 1 (Sisonke initiative).

Phase 3 will start in November 2021 until February 2022 and will target the remainder of South Africa’s population.

How to register for COVID-19 vaccine via WhatsApp, SMS

Follow the steps below to register through WhatsApp and SMS for a COVID-19 vaccination:

  • WhatsApp: Send the word “Register” to 0600 123 456.
  • SMS: Dial *134*832* followed by your ID number. For example, *134*832*123456789. South Africans who do not have an ID number can dial *134*832# for assistance.

At this stage, registration is only open to healthcare workers and those aged 60 years or older. If you’re younger, the portal will notify you that you do not yet qualify.

If you qualify, the process is similar to the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) vaccine registration portal launched in April by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The WhatsApp/SMS portals will similarly ask you if you’re 60 years or older. If you reply “1” (Yes), it will ask you to accept the EVDS privacy policy.

If you accept, you will then be required to choose your method of identification. The four options are RSA ID number, passport number, asylum seeker permit number and refugee permit number.

After you have provided this information, the portal will send you an SMS indicating that it has placed you in a scheduling queue.

Once you have been scheduled, you will receive an SMS with a date and place of your vaccination, which may be nearest to your home or place of work.

In case you encounter challenges in the registration process, you may contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 0800 029 999.

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