Covid-19 vaccination update

If you or your dependants are between the ages of 18 to 34 years old, you are now able to register for your Covid-19 vaccine. We encourage you to register without delay using the National Department of Health (NDoH) EVDS site. Thereafter, you can make a booking for your vaccination at one of our sites via our Covid-19 Portal

It’s never been easier to register for the Covid-19 vaccine!

The Scheme has made some exciting enhancements on our dedicated Covid-19 Portal to guide you through your vaccine journey and ensure that you have a seamless experience. If you are not situated close to one of our vaccine sites, you are encouraged to complete our Covid-19 Vaccine Form as a medical scheme member and then register on EVDS for the NDoH to send you a booking SMS with your token number and a vaccine site address that is closer to you. Remember: You have to complete this process for each beneficiary who qualifies for the vaccination based on their age, including individual registration on the EVDS site.

We aim to vaccinate all the individuals who visit our sites on a daily basis. However, only a certain number of vaccines may be held on site, based on the allocation received from South Africa’s Central Distributor for Covid-19 vaccines. This means that we may not always have sufficient vaccines for individuals who walk in without a booking, since members who have made a booking on the above links will be given preference. The average time spent at our sites is currently 90-120 minutes, so we want to ensure that you don’t waste any of your valuable time.

Bring along the following to the vaccination site

  • Your ID or driver’s licence
  • Proof of active medical scheme membership (your NMAS membership card – this can also be the electronic one on the Member App)
  • Confirmation SMS or email to prove that you have registered via EVDS (token number not required)
  • QR code SMS
  • Booking confirmation SMS or email for the vaccine site
  • Something to drink in case the waiting time is a bit longer than expected

Cover for vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine obtained from an accredited vaccination site is covered under the Prescribed Minimum Benefits for registered beneficiaries on all Nedgroup Medical Aid Scheme Plans.

Efficacy versus effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines

There is a lot of information available about Covid-19 and the vaccines, so you are encouraged to ensure that you source your information from credible sources. One of these credible sources is the World Health Organization (WHO). The following is a summary of the information the WHO has made available around the efficacy (how the vaccine performs under controlled conditions) and effectiveness (how the vaccine performs in the greater population) of Covid-19 vaccines:

To calculate the vaccine’s efficacy, the infection rates between those who aren’t vaccinated and those who have received a vaccine, are compared. If the infection rate of the vaccinated is reduced by 80% compared to the infection rate of the unvaccinated, for example, this means that the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 80%, since 80% fewer people contracted the virus when coming into contact with it. The vaccines registered in South Africa have high efficacy rates, meaning that once you have been vaccinated, you are less likely to experience moderate to severe disease that may require hospitalisation.

It is important to remember that vaccines do not provide 100% protection and that infections can still occur. The expectation is that as more people get vaccinated, there will be fewer people who could transmit the virus.

Typically, a vaccine takes two to three weeks from the date of the final dose of the vaccine to be fully effective. Therefore, it is important that you still take all the relevant precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones. This includes wearing a mask and social distancing.

Being kind to yourself and your loved ones

We highlighted mental health awareness in July. You would have received an informative article about this topic. The challenges and loss brought about by this global pandemic serves as a reminder that one’s mental health is as important as your physical health. We can easily overlook the impact Covid-19 has had on children (in our homes and around us). One of the best ways to help children manage these changes is to empower them with the knowledge and confidence to adjust to the new normal. This could take the form of:

  • Keeping an eye out for any changes in behaviour that may indicate your child is feeling stressed and/or overwhelmed. Just like no two adults are the same, similarly, no two children’s responses to stress are the same. Encourage open conversations with your child. This will help provide a platform for you to answer your child’s concerns and arm them with accurate information about the pandemic that may help give them comfort because they are able to protect themselves and those around them.
  • Limiting your child’s exposure to news coverage around the pandemic, thereby controlling how information is filtered to your child as well as helping them deal with new developments. Children may interpret information differently and this may cause anxiety, fear or stress about something they may not fully understand.
  • Keeping up with healthy daily routines, even when children are on holiday. This way you can mold healthy lifestyles that support their health and development.
  • Looking after your own health and mental wellbeing. Children look to you for guidance. For them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, you would need to do the same. Be kind to yourself, take breaks, get a good night’s rest, aim to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Spending time with your child in meaningful activities, as this would help create the safe space they need to communicate their feelings with you.

Being aware of how you are feeling and knowing what you can do to look after your mental wellbeing is an important part of staying healthy during this challenging time. Remember, we are all in this together.

Sources

www.who.int
Accessed: 10 August 2021

www.cdc.gov
Accessed: 10 August 2021

www.health.gov.au
Accessed: 10 August 2021