Covid-19 vaccination: Here’s how you can book slot with a call

Lack of access to technology has posed a major challenge to people in rural India as the government has mandated prior online registration on the CoWIN portal for the 18-44 years age group.

Those having issues with online access in rural areas can now call on helpline number ‘1075’ and book their Covid vaccine slot, said National Health Authority chief RS Sharma.

Lack of access to technology has posed a major challenge to people in rural India as the government has mandated prior online registration on the CoWIN portal for the 18-44 years age group.

“To ensure that the system is inclusive, we have opened 1075 helpline number where one can call and book appointments for Covid vaccine,” Sharma was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. He added that all common service centers partnering with the government will now register/book slots for vaccination in rural areas.

He said half the population in the 45-plus age group are walk-in registrations, which itself is a proof of the inclusivity of the system. He, however, said the problem is being witnessed among the 18-44 age group as there is a shortage in vaccine supply.

Further stating that the CoWIN platform is transparent, Sharma said whether it is a VVIP or a normal citizen, everyone has access to the same data about vaccination. “This gives people confidence that the system is not giving priority to any particular section.”

District officers, collectors, and staff of primary health centres are creating awareness and assisting the rural population to get vaccinated, said Sharma, asserting that it would not be right to make a general observation that rural people are being left out in the race for vaccination.

Integration of CoWIN with third-party apps

Sharma also informed of the policy announced by the government to allow third-party app developers to integrate the CoWIN API in their own platforms and thus enable people to directly book slots for vaccination.

As of now, one can book for Covid-19 vaccine slots only through the CoWIN portal.

“We had published the APIs long ago for third-party applications so that state governments use them to create apps for vaccination,” he said.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had released new guidelines for the integration of the vaccine portal CoWIN with third-party applications.

In a statement, the ministry said: “MoHFW provides API based access to CoWIN for third-party software applications to provide a variety of value-added services directly to the beneficiary or enable empanelled COVID Vaccination Centres (CVC) to offer enhanced services to their users.”

These third-party apps can be either offered directly to citizens (B2C) or to private CVCs (B2B) to discover vaccination centers and related information; schedule appointments; manage vaccination workflow (in the case when such application is offered to CVCs); generate/download certificates; and report any adverse events after vaccination as per AEFI guidelines.

India kickstarted its vaccination programme for priority groups on January 16 and subsequently opened it for all above 45 years of age from March 1. India then expanded its vaccination coverage from May 1 by including everyone aged 18 and older.

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