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COVID-19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Your clients will start receiving invitations from Discovery to register for their COVID-19 vaccine. South Africa is rapidly moving towards Phase 2 in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme. This means that your clients who are not healthcare workers will gradually begin to become eligible for vaccination, in accordance with specific age and risk criteria, from May onwards.

To support the national programme, all Discovery clients, even those who are not members of medical schemes administered by Discovery Health, will have access to Discovery’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, and we encourage your clients’ participation through our dedicated vaccination portal.

In this note we share important information to help you support your clients during their COVID-19 vaccination journey.


  1. The SA Government has bought sufficient COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate all adults in South Africa through the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.
  2. Vaccines will be administered in phases according to a national prioritisation framework, and not on a first-come-first-served basis. This ensures that people most at-risk are vaccinated first.
  3. In the current Phase 1, vaccination efforts are focused on healthcare workers.
  4. The Government has indicated the likely start dates of subsequent phases as:
    • Phase 2 is likely to start in the third or fourth week of May 2021.
    • Phase 3 is likely to start in October 2021.
  5. In Phase 2 vaccination efforts will be focused on the elderly and those living with an illness. People older than 60 years will be vaccinated first, starting with the oldest, before getting to those younger than 60 with underlying medical conditions, e.g.
    • First: People older than 80 years
    • Second: People 70 to 80 years old
    • Third: People 60 to 70 years old
    • Fourth: People below the age of 60 years with underlying medical conditions
  6. Phase 3 vaccination efforts will focus on the rest of the population, i.e. those younger than 60 years with no underlying medical conditions.

Learn more about the national rollout and relevant information on the procurement of vaccines.


Vaccines will be administered in accredited vaccination sites across the country including pharmacies, GP practices, hospitals and dedicated vaccination sites. Discovery is setting up a number of dedicated vaccination sites for your clients’ convenience, and we will share the details of these locations with you in future communications.

The cost of the vaccination at an accredited vaccination site will be covered in full where your client is a member of a medical scheme. If your client is not a member of a medical scheme, the cost of the vaccination will be covered by the Government.

1. Register on the national Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS)

This is a requirement of the National Department of Health (NDoH) for all South Africans. Registration on the EVDS provides your clients with a vaccination code that will need to be presented on the day of their scheduled vaccination. The National Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) is now available for people over 60 years of age.

2. Register on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal

Your clients will receive a personalised invitation to register on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. We need to confirm all clients’ details we have on record to confirm their place in the national prioritisation framework, and where they will be vaccinated. This registration will provide access to an extensive set of features and functionality to guide them through their COVID-19 vaccination journey, including:

  • View of where they fit in the national prioritisation framework
  • What to expect and how to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccination
  • Notification of when to go for the second dose (if they received a two-dose vaccine)
  • An internationally accredited COVID-19 vaccination certificate.


All Discovery clients, even those who are not medical scheme members, will have access to the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. To ensure that we prioritise and protect our elderly and high-risk clients, we are taking a stepwise approach to registration on the Discovery COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. We will send out personalised invitations over the course of the next few weeks as per the below groups, starting with Group A. Once we reach critical mass in a particular group (expected within 1-2 weeks), we will invite the next group to register.

  • Group A: All clients older than 80 years
  • Group B: All clients older than 60 years but younger than 80 years
  • Group C: All clients younger than 60 years with underlying medical conditions
  • Group D: All clients younger than 60 years with no pre-existing conditions or comorbidities.



  1. Your clients should await their personalised invitation to register on the Discovery Vaccination Portal over the next few weeks based on the phased approach described above. Note: Vaccinations are not on a first-come-first-served basis, so there is no rush, and we will aim to have the registration of all clients completed before Phase 2 of vaccinations start.
  2. As we aim to prioritise the elderly and high-risk clients, ensure that your clients’ family and friends assist those that are not digitally enabled to complete their registration on the EVDS and Discovery Vaccination Portal when they receive their invitation.
  3. Look out for our Discovery Update sessions in the upcoming weeks, where we will provide you with the latest COVID-19 updates and detailed information on Discovery’s dedicated vaccination sites.

We will be regularly updating our COVID-19 vaccine hub with relevant information and toolkits to support you and your clients over the upcoming months. Encourage your clients to visit our COVID-19 vaccine hub or access our convenient WhatsApp service available 24/7 to get instant answers to their COVID-19 vaccination questions.

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