Health ministry allows on-spot beneficiary registration in the vaccination drive
As the covid vaccine drive started on Saturday, the turnout of healthcare workers came out to below. To deal with this issue of low turnout at the vaccine sites, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has modified the Co-WIN app so that on-spot beneficiary registration can be done and with this, it will be beneficial for the states to accommodate the walk-ins.
“The average vaccination sessions allowed per site are 100, and we were told in some centers fewer people were turning up. We have made a provision in the app to also accommodate beneficiaries scheduled to take the jab on other dates. Earlier, the software wasn’t designed to accept beneficiaries outside the day’s list but now they can,” said Dr. RS Sharma, chairman, empowered group on Covid-19 vaccination.
“It made sense to make changes in the software because a lot of resources otherwise could go to waste, such as, manpower that was there at the center, vaccine supplies, etc. So long as the person who has landed at the session site is eligible to receive the vaccine, even if they are registered for any other day, there should be no problem. Why waste resources and time, since we have to vaccinate a particular number of healthcare workers anyway,” said Sharma.
He disapproved that there were major glitches in the Co-WIN app that is the backbone of the Covid-19 vaccine delivery management system.
“There are minor hiccups, which are normal to have when you put such a large-scale system in production. Dry runs are one part but in real-time, there is always a possibility of encountering issues that may have been missed otherwise. None of what we have seen so far is anything major, in fact, some are even procedural issues that are being rectified,” he said.
The officials in the ministry said, “there were no issues with the app; in fact, the vaccination process will also be scaled up soon”.
“It also depends on how tech-savvy are the people handling the software. There is also the option of manually uploading data but that is only in extreme situations and has to be done real-time otherwise the backlog will be huge,” he said.
The priority will be given to current day beneficiaries even after the walk-ins are allowed.
“Those who are registered for the day will have to be vaccinated first, and others should be accommodated only if registered beneficiaries do not turn up. Certain conditions are non-negotiable such as eligibility, so that those not eligible don’t jump the line; record the vaccination event real-time, and issuing of vaccination certificate. Everyone who gets vaccinated must be accounted for so that tracking is effectively done,” said Sharma.
“This software is an empowering tool, not a disabling tool,” he added.