The beginning of the vaccination campaign for first of the general public began with some confusion on Monday as people from across the country reported glitches in the self-registration process online, prompting many to land up at vaccination centres, some of which saw big crowds.
The confusion was partly due to people believing the registration was through the Co-WIN mobile application available on mobile application stores. The application is in fact for vaccinators to manage the process and recipients need to instead use a website to sign themselves up.
“Registration and booking for appointment for #COVID19 Vaccination is to be done through #CoWIN Portal: http://cowin.gov.in. There is NO #CoWIN App for beneficiary registration. The App on Play Store is for administrators only,” the health ministry said in a tweet.
People can also use the Aarogya Setu mobile application to sign up for the doses.
Officials said the confusion was mostly due to rumours. “Confusion gets created by things like WhatsApp messages. We have always maintained that there will only be two sources besides being able to walk down and getting yourself registered and get vaccinated immediately, provided there is vacancy. In future, in the next one or two months, people can create their own apps, get it certified and register people,” said National Health Authority chairperson RS Sharma, who is overseeing the vaccination drive.
Certain hospitals too reported having observed glitches in the platform. “There were glitches in the platform faced in the morning when there was a huge rush of people that lead to a lot of confusion. We had to turn away some people as they had landed without registration. We ended up vaccinating at least double the number of beneficiaries of what we had initially thought we would vaccinate,” said an administrative staff member at a private hospital vaccinating people, requesting not to be identified.
There were also reports that people were not getting the one-time passwords (OTPs) on their mobile phones, which is necessary to verify details before registration is confirmed.
Monday marked the beginning of the next phase of the vaccination programme, with those above the age of 60 and those older than 45 but with certain medical conditions becoming eligible.
This phase is likely to cover close to 270 million people.
According to the health ministry’s Co-WIN guidelines issued on Sunday, one person will be able to register only three more eligible people using their mobile number.
Those with specified comorbidities will have to produce a medical certificate attested by a registered medical practitioner at the time of vaccination at the chosen Covid vaccine centre.
According to the Union health ministry, as many as 14,301,266 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country so far.