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COVID-19 vaccine drive: Co-WIN comes a partial cropper on Tuesday, too

10:48 PM Jan 19, 2021 | Pratip Acharya

Mumbai: The CoWin (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) app continued to be plagued by glitches even as the mass vaccination drive resumed on Tuesday morning.

The two-day break in the inoculation drive was not sufficient to iron out issues, it would appear. The technical glitches in the app continued to be problematic for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as it was unable to reach the targeted beneficiaries supposed to be inoculated on Tuesday. Civic officials said the new application was posing a problem and requested the state government to resolve the issue with immediate effect, failing which, there would be backlogs and most beneficiaries who were willing to take the vaccines would be left out.

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On the eve of the mass immunisation rollout on January 16, the civic body had faced similar trouble, having to fall back on WhatsApp messages and phone calls to reach out to inform beneficiaries about their vaccination centre and the time they had to reach there. The beneficiaries were supposed to receive automated messages on their mobile phones, following which a mandatory digital registration was necessary for them before inoculation. “We have a target of 4,000 per day but if the application does not work properly then it will create pressure on the staff who are part of the drive. On Tuesday, only 40 per cent of healthcare workers received messages through the application, while rest were contacted through the war room and informed about their timings before the drive resumed on Tuesday,” said a health official.

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Many beneficiaries also said that they hadn't received automated messages but had been called by the local BMC war room and told to head to their nearest vaccine centre. “I received a call this morning from the BMC office and was told to visit Cooper Hospital to get the first dose,” said Kanchan Lokhande, a civic health worker.

“I had registered myself a few months ago and received a call from the BMC on Tuesday morning,’’ said Dr. Adil Patel, another public health doctor.

“Some of my colleagues got automated messages last night, but I didn't receive any. I got a call from the BMC, following which I came all the way from Nallasopara" said Shankar Gosavi, another beneficiary.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said there were some glitches in the Co-Win application because of which only some beneficiaries were receiving automated messages while the rest had to be individually contacted. “The problem will be resolved in the next two days and soon everyone will receive automated messages,” he said.

Meanwhile, civic officials deployed at hospitals said, the pre-registered data of the beneficiaries had now been registered in the CoWin app. “The local ward office is preparing a day-to-day list of beneficiaries based on the pre-registered data, which is then passed to the local vaccination centre" said the official.

‘‘Along with this, the pre-registered data of beneficiaries are being fed into the CoWin app, so when beneficiaries come in for inoculation, their credentials are verified by checking their Aadhaar card, after that we confirm their registration in the app.

“The beneficiary receives two doses of the vaccine and after each dose, we need to tap the app for confirmation, which is also recorded in the system,” explained a the vaccinator at Cooper Hospital.

"As digital registration is mandatory, we are not vaccinating anyone unless their data is fed in the app. A beneficiary would get the dose only after their Aadhar details have been matched, " said Dr Anita Shenoy, nodal officer, Cooper Hospital.

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