In the wake of media reports regarding inconveniences faced by the people in getting the Covid vaccination, the Central Government has instructed states and Union territories to publish vaccination slots based on the availability of vaccines. And, CoWIN has now an added feature for rescheduling of vaccination sessions, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said.
Terming media reports suggesting that even a successful booking on the CoWIN platform for a vaccination slot does not assure one of a Covid-19 vaccine jab “baseless and incorrect, not supported by full information on the matter”, the government stated that "beneficiaries not getting vaccinated in confirmed slots can be traced to improper planning by DIOs".
Considering the issue, the Centre has advised states and Union territories to publish vaccination slots based on the availability of vaccine, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said in a release issued on Monday.
Explaining the reasons for the inconveniences in getting vaccination schedules, the ministry stated that “in some cases the DIOs were publishing a session and then in case vaccines were in short supply, the DIOs used to cancel such sessions or return the beneficiaries. This definitely caused inconvenience to such beneficiaries who booked their appointments for such vaccination centres/ sessions.
The government has taken steps to remove the problem, the ministry said.
1. CoWIN has now provided the feature for rescheduling of vaccination sessions so that the DIO does not have to cancel the sessions.
2. A beneficiary need not take a fresh appointment. Provision has also been made that pre-booked appointments for a session, also get rescheduled when a session is rescheduled.
3. The beneficiaries shall also receive an SMS informing them about rescheduling of their session. The system still provides the option of rescheduling or cancellation of an appointment to the beneficiaries.
4. All states/UTs have been instructed to give preference to beneficiaries with online appointments than to on-site registrations
5. All stated-UTs have been advised to publish vaccination slots based on the availability of vaccines.
The ministry said that the government has been supporting the efforts of states and UTs towards vaccinating all people aged 18 years and above with priority being given to the Healthcare and Frontline Workers. And, CoWIN portal has been developed as a platform to manage vaccinations across the country.
The Co-WIN platform facilitates registration (in both online & on-site modes), scheduling of appointments, vaccination & certification of beneficiary during COVID-19 vaccination process. Availability of slots on Co-WIN Portal is based on the vaccination schedule published by District Immunization Officer (DIO)/Session site in-charge which in turn depends upon availability of vaccines, the ministry added.
It may be mentioned that recently the Imphal Free Press reported on the inconveniences faced by the beneficiaries in booking and reservation of Covid-19 vaccination and the need to expand the number of vaccination centres as the number of people willing to take the vaccination is growing in the state which is hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic.