- People in the age group 50 to 59 can start registering for the Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday.
- The portal was meant to open for registration for this age group at 13:00, but opened at midnight.
- Data capturing for teachers and staff at independent schools is also being finalised for their vaccinations to start.
Thursday is finally the start of Covid-19 vaccination registrations for the 50 to 59 age group.
Health department spokesperson Popo Maja said the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) would officially open for registration for this age group at 13:00 on Thursday, but people were able to register by Wednesday night already.
"The Acting Minister of Health announced that we will open for registration for all citizens aged 50 years and above, and we will schedule those vaccinations to begin on 15 July," Maja said in response to questions sent to the department.
"We still are encouraging families and friends and neighbours to also register their loved ones aged 60 years and above who are yet to vaccinate or register, to please bring them along," Maja said.
After an outcry over many teachers at independent schools being left out of vaccinations targeted at teachers, Maja said data capturing for them was being finalised.
"Independent schools' vaccinations will start as soon as the data from the sector is uploaded on the system," Maja said.
The Department of Basic Education is expected to communicate this.
Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa executive director Lebogang Montjane told News24 they had received news that independent schools were finally being allocated vaccination slots.
"We are very relieved," Montjane said.
The deadline for the collection and collation of data was last Thursday for 750 independent schools, with 12 657 teachers and 8 269 non-teaching staff.
The data was sent to the Department of Health, and it was entered into the EVDS.
Some of the submissions were incorrect, and the data had to be corrected.
"We have worked very hard and flat out," Montjane said of the inclusion of independent school staff in the teachers' vaccinations.
He said independent school staffers should get a message from their school to tell them when to go to a particular vaccination site.
Council for Medical Schemes acting general manager for stakeholder relations Mmatsie Mpshane said whether a person is on a medical aid scheme or not, they should make sure they are registered on the EVDS.
Even if a medical scheme collected their data, to be vaccinated, a person's details must reflect on the EVDS.