A vaccine certificate will grant you access to social gatherings and large capacity venues and if you’ve been jabbed, you can easily claim your ‘vax pass‘ by following the instructions on this guide.
Vaccine certificates are here: This is what we know
More than 19 million South Africans have been vaccinated thus far, 14.7 million of which took the Pfizer jab.
Regarding the latter, more than 5.5 million have received their second jab, while a total of 3.84 million Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single doses have been administered since the start of the vaccine rollout.
In essence, close to nine million — if not more — South Africans should have received an SMS from the Department of Health confirming two things:
- They have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19; and
- They’ve been allocated a unique vaccine code
This code is an identifier that the Department of Health and other authorised establishments can use to ascertain one’s vaccination status. This measure, according to Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla was taken to allow for the return of large capacity events in sports and entertainment.
“We expect the certificate to be a tool to enable vaccinated people to access many opportunities which various service providers will make available. Amongst others we expect sports and recreation to open up more for vaccinated people, shops to provide discounts and others to give prizes, entertainment like music festivals to start opening for vaccinated people with safety measures, travel and tourism to open more,” he said.
How to obtain a vaccine certificate
The vaccine certificate is still in its infancy, the minister said. More complex features and identifiers will be added to the programme in due course. The most important thing, at this stage, is getting as many vaxxed South Africans logged into the system as possible.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a valid vaccine certificate:
- Visit the vaccine certificate portal
- Click on ‘get my vaccine certificate’
- Select your preferred identity type (RSA ID, passport or asylum seeker/refugee number
- Enter your personal information (ID number, first and last name)
- Confirm you are not a robot and click ‘Next’
- The page that loads thereafter will allow you to download your vaccine certificate.
The downloadable certificate looks something like this:
What are the benefits of a vaccine certificate?
The department admitted, after receiving huge download requests, that some users may encounter a ‘network error’ when trying to download the certificate.
The issue is being addressed and users are asked to try again after a while. If push comes to shove, the department said, new unique codes may be issued to vaccinated South Africans if the issue persists.
At the launch of the vax pass, Dr Phaahla revealed that the certificate holds a lot of benefits. It will be the access card to social events and sporting activities. Want to catch a game of football live at a stadium? You will need a vax pass. Want to take your significant other on a romantic date? You’ll both need to be fully vaxxed and holders of a vaccine certificate.
The private sector has also entered the fray in a bid to drive up vaccine participation. Very soon, retail outlets and other businesses will offer discounts and prize giveaways to people with vax passes.
Perhaps, most importantly for globetrotters, the world will now accept a vaccine certificate issued by South Africa as valid. Travellers who wish to visit the United Kingdom can now rest assured knowing that Mzansi has been removed from the red list and fully vaxxed visitors can present the vaccine certificate for entry without PRC test and possible quarantine hassles.
“We call on all South Africans and other nationals living in our country to come forward and get vaccinated. We have a window of opportunity while infection rates are low to protect ourselves before the expected fourth wave later this year. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. Very few vaccinated people are falling ill, ask the health care workers and the educators,” he said.