India

Eligible people likely to get option to sign up for jabs on Aarogya Setu

The Centre may allow self-registration by the elderly and those with comorbidities on the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) platform for faster and easier enrolment of people to receive a shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.

An Aadhaar-based enrolment process is likely to be rolled out for the elderly and those with comorbidities on the CoWIN platform, which is set to be integrated with the widely used Aarogya Setu app.

According to documents accessed by HT, the CoWIN platform will allow the public to access its limited features—only those required for enrolment and vaccination and not the complex back-end operations—on the Aarogya Setu app. The app—the single window interface for health-related updates related to Covid-19 —has been downloaded by more than 170 million users. This would now be used in the world’s largest vaccination programme.

“There is no need to download any new app for vaccination purposes. This module will be activated soon, once the vaccination of frontline health workers is completed. Along with this a feedback module through Rapid Assessment System (RAS) developed by MeitY is also being integrated,” says an internal government note.

MeitY is short for the ministry of electronics and information technology.

The government had so far conducted door-to-door surveys for contact tracing and rigorously tracked Covid-19 patients for months last year in its battle against the pandemic. Aarogya Setu and hospital data provided ready-made information on the age or comorbidities of millions of Indians.

The self-registration process, experts maintain, is to ensure foolproof identification of deserving candidates for receiving the vaccine.

The other and more complicated functions of CoWIN is to digitally integrate various steps, right from the time the vaccine is out from the factory and till it is administered to a recipient. It will monitor the movement of each dose of vaccine at the appropriate temperature.

For the registration of beneficiaries, a unique health ID will be generated for each individual. “Those who don’t have Aadhaar or can’t do Aadhaar authentication with OTP will be verified through mobile numbers and taking photographs,” said the note.

A guideline to the states adds that the CoWIN portal (cowin.gov.in) might also be used for self-registration of the general public. The platform will also be used for creation of state and district level admins, and the database of vaccinators and supervisors, and for management of material relevant to Covid-19 vaccination and its allocation.

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