New Details On COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

Coronavirus: COVID-19 vaccination will start anytime soon; India has cleared two vaccines

Highlights

  • India is developing CoWIN app to inoculate millions of people
  • India has cleared two vaccines for emergency use
  • The government has prioritised groups who will get the vaccine first

New Delhi:
Aadhaar authentication and SMS confirming vaccination in at least 12 languages are some of the features of the CoWIN app that India is developing to inoculate millions of people against COVID-19. Short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, the CoWIN app and its ecosystem will be used to manage and scale up the massive vaccination drive amid the pandemic. India has cleared two vaccines for emergency use – Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield developed by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The government has prioritised groups who will get the vaccine first, including doctors, healthcare workers, police and others engaged directly in fighting COVID-19.

Here’s your 10-point cheat sheet to this big story:

  1. There will be automated allocation of vaccination session via the CoWIN ecosystem, the Health Ministry said in the press briefing today. One of the authentication methods would be use of Aadhaar to prevent malpractice, officials said.

  2. There is a plan to create a unique health identity for those who wish to have it. There will be close reporting and tracking of any possible adverse effects after a person gets the vaccine.

  3. SMS in 12 languages will be sent to guide those waiting to get vaccinated and health workers engaged in inoculation. A QR code based vaccination certificate will be issued after all the doses are given and people can store it in their mobile phone.

  4. The government’s document storage app DigiLocker can be integrated to store and fetch the QR code based certificate. There will be a 24×7 helpline.

  5. For now, the public can’t register on CoWIN themselves as only officials have access to it. CoWIN has data of 75 lakh health officials who will be first in line to get vaccinated. Once the app is up and running, it will have four modules – user administrator module, beneficiary registration, vaccination and beneficiary acknowledgment, and status update.

  6. Once the app is launched, CoWIN app will give three options for registration – self-registration, individual registration (an official would help by uploading data) and bulk upload. The exact logistics of this process has not been announced yet. It is likely that the government may organise camps where people can go and officials will get them registered for the vaccine.

  7. “For data of those above 50, we will refer to the electoral rolls and feed that data into CoWIN. We will then open it for public. If an individual finds that his or her name is not there they can approach the district or block officer and can get their name registered. They can also self-register. Those below 50 who have cardiac diseases or cancer, they can upload their medical certificate into the system,” said Dr Suneela Garg, member of the Delhi COVID-19 task force.

  8. The government said multiple dry runs have been held to test the software in the field at various stages of its development. It said over 90,000 people in 700 districts have been trained to use the software.

  9. The data of healthcare and other medical frontline workers have been uploaded on the platform, the government said, adding they don’t have to register themselves.

  10. For population priority groups, the system will slot allocation for vaccination automatically. District Magistrates can decide the dates on which the vaccination sessions can be held.

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