The first phase of South Africa’s digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate was launched on Friday.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla joined by his deputy, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, gave an update on government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as South Africa’s coronavirus immunisation programme.
Phaahla said that the certificate was developed in collaboration with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
“It is a first phase because it is ready for use, but there’s going to be a lot more improvements going forward in the next two months to improve, especially on the safety and security of the certificate but it is ready for use,” said the Health Minister.
Phaahla said that the COVID-19 vaccine certificate would be a tool that would enable vaccinated people to access opportunities that service providers would be making available.
“Amongst others, we expect the sports and recreation to open up more for vaccinated people, shops to provide discounts and others to give prizes. I’ve already seen one of the banks advertising some prizes for people when they get vaccinated,” he said.
The minister has also welcomed the UK’s move in removing South Africa from its travel red list.
“But even more exciting for us was the announcement by the UK that they will be recognising this certificate which we’re launching this morning. So many people who have been waiting for business trips, visit family and friends or to go on study in the UK will now know that you can do so without having to need to do attend a quarantine when they arrive in London, and other UK destinations,” said Phaahla.
South Africa has so far dispensed over 18.7 million coronavirus vaccine doses.