India has cleared two vaccines for emergency use – Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield developed by the Serum Institute of India, Pune and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The government also prioritised groups who will get the vaccine first, including doctors, healthcare workers, sanitation staff, police and others engaged directly in dealing with Covid-19 patients.
As the biotechnology companies gear up for the mass vaccination against Covid-19 with the help of CoWIN app, let us take a look at some of its features. CoWIN, short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, developed to streamline the vaccination drive will be used to manage and scale up the mass inoculation programme.
1. The CoWIN ecosystem will provide the facility of automated allocation of vaccination session, according to the officials of the health ministry. One of the authentication methods would be use of Aadhaar card to prevent malpractice, officials said.
2. There is also a plan to create a unique health identity for those wanting to have it. The app will help in reporting and tracking of any possible adverse effects after a person gets the vaccine.
3. SMS in 12 languages will be sent to individuals waiting to get vaccinated, along with information on 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. As of 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 begins functioning, 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.
7. “For data on people aged above 50 years, the electoral rolls will be referred and that data would be fed into CoWIN. The app will then be opened for public. If an individual finds that his name missing, they should approach the district or block officer and get their name registered. They can also self-register. Those below 50 years having cardiac diseases or cancer can upload their medical certificate into the system,” informed Dr Suneela Garg, member of the Delhi COVID-19 task force.
8. Frontline workers need not register themselves as their data has already been uploaded into the app.
9. District Magistrates can decide the dates on which the vaccination sessions can be held.
10. The government said multiple dry runs have been held to test the software in the field and that over 90,000 people in 700 districts have been trained to use the software.