Cape Town | On 6 December, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) issued a press release about access to data from the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) to its researchers. The SAMRC has consulted with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and met with key players to design a safe way to share appropriate data within the prescripts of the POPIA.
The data is needed to evaluate efficacy of vaccines, which has become significant in the context of Omicron. It is important for researchers to have access to information about who has received the vaccine so that we can link this with the data that we have on breakthrough infections and deaths.
“If we are able to put the data together, we can get a picture of how well the vaccines work - which is particularly important in the context of a new variant,” says Prof Debbie Bradshaw a Chief Specialist Scientist at the SAMRC.
“The SAMRC will work with the Western Cape Department of Health to utilize this data for research purposes and for nothing else, researchers evaluating this data will be an extension of the NDoH team,” confirmed Prof Glenda Gray, SAMRC President and CEO. NDoH will continue to work with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on breakthrough infections shared through their dashboard, added Gray.
The NDoH is the owner of the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). This system has been designed as the central registry of all Vaccination Events and Matrices. NDoH is therefore responsible for ensuring that appropriate data protection and governance policies are applied to comply with legislative requirements and to monitor legitimate, appropriate, and proportionate use and processing of the EVDS data.
We appreciate the support from the NDoH, health data is important in research to better understand diseases and improve health care decisions and delivery, said Gray.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR:
The SAMRC’s Burden of Disease Research Unit collects and analyses data on South Africa’s health status to estimate and monitor the burden of disease, the impact of health problems, and factors associated with the health of the population.
The Unit publishes Reports on Weekly Deaths in South Africa on its website: https://www.samrc.ac.za/reports/report-weekly-deaths-south-africa
Manager: Public Relations
Tel: +27 21 9380407
Cell: +27 78 313 5798