Special Reports:

COVID-19 vaccines

< Back to special reports

The first batch of COVID vaccines touched down in South Africa in February 2021. Health workers were the first to get a jab under the Sisonke study. But even before the country had bought any jabs, our reporters were writing about the logistics and the politics of the project. If you want to know how well the vaccines work, how the different jabs compare or what it takes to create a vaccine from research, to regulation, to rollout, you’re at the right place.

HomeSpecial ReportsCOVID-19 vaccines45.6% of SA adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID

45.6% of SA adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID

Hospital admissions by vaccination status

Every day the health department posts the latest information from its vaccine statistics dashboard on its SA Coronavirus website. At present the numbers shown on the dashboard are a snapshot as at 17:00 on a particular day. We use data from the dashboard in the vaccinations table and charts, to track the proportion of the total population in each province who have received a vaccine as well as the proportion of adults (people 18 years and older) and 12 to 17 year olds.

The estimated number of people in these age groups as of mid-2021 was obtained from Statistics South Africa.

South Africa is currently using two vaccines, the one-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot and the two-dose Pfizer. People who receive one J&J shot are fully vaccinated, but people need to receive two doses of Pfizer to be fully vaccinated. Only fully vaccinated adults (18 years and older) are eligible to receive booster shoots.

People who got vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, qualify for a booster shot 90 days after their second jab. Those who got a J&J jab, can get a second shot 60 days after their first dose, and another booster 90 days after their second jab. For both Pfizer and J&J, vaccinated people can “mix and match” their boosters, in other words, they can choose to get boosted with a vaccine that is different from the one they were originally vaccinated with — so someone who got vaccinated with Pfizer, can get boosted with J&J and vice versa. For J&J, you also have the option to choose two different brands for the two boosters you qualify for, so you can have one J&J booster and one Pfizer booster, should you wish to do so.

The health department vaccination dashboard has a disclaimer that states: “Data displayed in this dashboard only contains vaccination records captured on the live Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and excludes vaccination records captured on paper within the last 24 hours. Totals will be adjusted as back-capturing and data validation are done.”

Find a vaccination site near you

The sites shown on this map are collected from the active vaccination sites published on the SA Coronavirus website, a list of pharmacies approved to vaccinate by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, lists published by provincial health departments and a list of accepted pharmacies and clinics compiled by the South African Pharmacy Council.

Some of these sites may not currently be vaccinating, so before you visit a site, phone to check that it is open for vaccinations. For example, a pharmacy we contacted in Calvinia in the Northern Cape, only operates for several days every few weeks to complete first and second vaccine doses. 

You need to first register on the health department’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), and you will be placed in a virtual queue to be scheduled to a vaccination site, said Milani Wolmarans, the system’s project manager.

The EVDS will send you an SMS with your allocated vaccination site.

Some facilities take walk-ins, but you will still need to be registered on the EVDS to be vaccinated (some centres can help you to get registered on-site). Although you can also do walk-ins at these sites, some venues, such as the Discovery sites or Dis-chem pharmacies, prefer that you make an online booking to be vaccinated. So please check this ahead of time.

This interactive map was created to make it easier for people to find vaccination sites close to where they live or work. We have tried to find the correct GPS coordinates for each of the sites, but sometimes errors slip through. If you find errors or if there is a site we have left off, please let us know at [email protected].  This map will be updated once a week.

Media Hack are a group of independent journalists who just love a good story. They're dedicated to quality journalism and the craft of digital storytelling. While they specialise in data-driven and narrative journalism, they’re a multi-talented bunch able to harness decades of journalism skills, combining them with state-of-the-art programming and presentation to create stories for all sorts of screens. They initiate their own media projects, but they also offer their services to civil society organisations and corporate social responsibility projects with a story to tell.