CoWin Platform To Deal With Next Phase Of Vaccination: Government

To be prepared for a sharp increase of usage with an aggressive expansion of the nationwide vaccination drive from next month, the centre has ordered the Covid-19 vaccine registration portal (CoWin) to process as many as 10 to 20 million registrations a day

To be prepared for an aggressive expansion of the nationwide Covid vaccination drive from next month, the centre has ordered the Covid-19 vaccine registration portal (CoWin) to process as many as 10 to 20 million registrations a day.

CoWin’s user interface has been spruced up while existing features have been further simplified to cater to a larger proportion of the population expected to pre-register in the next phase drive that will open for those above the age of 45 from April 1

A senior official was quoted by a news agency as saying, “We are expecting 4-5 million daily vaccinations in a week’s time and about 25-30% should happen through the CoWin platform,”

CoWin is a platform to register yourself for vaccination against Covid-19. ALl you need to do is enter your contact number and ID details.

According to the official estimates, only a tenth of people are pre-registered for vaccination, out of 2.5 to 3 million people being vaccinated every day. Many people are still not registering on the portal, and are choosing to be vaccinated by the walk-in option at local health centers and hospitals. But this could change as the number of people seeking vaccinations rises exponentially in the coming weeks, as those requiring a second dose also begin to seek appointments.

Official data shows that, so far, the highest vaccination in a day was registered on March 22 when close to 2.75 million people got the first dose while three lakh people were administered the second dose.

India has so far vaccinated over six crore people countrywide since January 15 when it first began vaccinating healthcare and other frontline workers.

Government officials are of the view that pre-registering on the CoWin platform will help people beat the queue and hasten the process as identification details required for authentication will already be keyed in.

To ensure more people opt for online booking, several features have been simplified such as visibility on slots available for users within their locality as well as log-in and registration prompt through the same OTP. 

The software is also being modified to do away with the need to upload a comorbidity certificate at the time of online registration and onsite registration. It has also dropped the automatic booking of slots for the second dosage of the vaccine and is leaving it to people to register for it within 6-8 weeks of their first dose.

To track the progress of vaccination drives, the government has also introduced an hourly monitoring mechanism, which will provide real-time information on authorized centers that are not providing slots or offer visibility on other operational snags.

This feedback will be monitored by the health secretaries in the state on an hourly basis. Regular emails will be sent to the health officials so that the functionality of hospitals can be reviewed in order to provide better facilities to the public, the union government officials said.

In the initial days of its launch, the CoWin platform, jointly developed by the Ministry of Health and the ministry of electronics, faced several glitches including citizens not able to register, the interface crashing and users not receiving text messages about appointment schedules. The government termed these as teething troubles in a vaccination drive, which is considered to be the largest in the world.

“The digital infrastructure, CoWin developed by RS Sharma is amazing. My friend in Seattle got his vaccination certificate scribbled on a piece of paper. My vaccination certificate was digitally sent and was QR coded, I got it on my phone within 2 minutes of my vaccination,” Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani said at a clubhouse session organized by Blume Ventures last week.

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