The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approvals for two Indian indigenous vaccines as of January 3, 2021. First is the Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca that has been developed by the Serum Institute of India, Pune. Second is the Covaxin that Bharat Biotech has developed; the company headquarters are located in Hyderabad. Both vaccines are meant for only restricted emergency use for now.
The Covid-19 vaccination drive will start in the following week. And for streamlining the massive vaccination drive in India, the CoWIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) has been developed.
The CoWIN comes with a range of features. These include DigiLocker, 24*7 helpline, and Aadhaar verification. Also, the app has the SMS facility for confirming vaccination in about 12 languages.
The Covid vaccines will first be administered to the frontline workers and healthcare staff. Only then, the priority groups that consist of people over the age of 50 years are scheduled to get vaccinated.
As part of the press briefing by the Government of India officials, they mentioned that frontline staff and healthcare personnel do not need to register themselves for getting the vaccines. This is because their details are already available on the CoWIN vaccine delivery management system.
The need for registration and data management would arise when inoculating the priority groups in the Indian population.
Frontline workers will receive the Covid vaccine free of cost. For the rest of the Indian population, the cost of the vaccine has not yet been confirmed.
CoWIN App: Various Features
- CoWIN will create a unique Health ID for every beneficiary.
- The app produces a QR Code certificate after a person is administered both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. This certification will be stored in the Government of India’s DigiLocker app.
- The app will automatically allocate vaccination sessions. The Aadhaar number will be used for authenticating users and preventing any misconduct.
- If the vaccine affects any person adversely, they can report in real-time on the digital platform.
- The app contains a host of features such as ChatBot, 24*7 helpline, and SMS facility in 12 languages.
- Presently, over 90,000 users have received training across 700 districts on how to administer vaccines.
- The CoWIN Vaccination Management System has been developed in India as a public health measure. However, other countries can use this system with help from the Government of India.
CoWIN: Additional Features
The CoWIN app will have many modules. Among the several modules of the CoWIN app is the Administrator Module for bulk registrations. And the Vaccination Module helps to verify the beneficiary’s details and their vaccination status. Apart from that, the app has a Beneficiary Registration Module for individual registrations. Moreover, through the Beneficiary Acknowledgement and Status Updation module, the user receives SMS alerts.
Additionally, the app is designed for issuing electronic vaccination certificates. Also, the CoWIN dashboard contains all the important information like name, mobile number, age, status of vaccination, vaccine site, health center, and name of the healthcare staff member.
The CoWIN app is not yet live on the App Store or Google Play and is still in the pre-production stage.
CoWIN will be the digital-based platform for the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination drive. However, the official app has not yet been released as of now. So, refrain from downloading any COWIN apps from the Google Play Store. Also, ensure you download the correct app from a reliable source before downloading any app for such a sensitive issue.
The CoWIN app is still in the development stages. The MeitY (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) website has further details about the app.
As seen earlier, for now, neither is the CoWIN app downloadable from the app stores nor any user can register on the official website. Presently, only some registered users can access the platform and login or use the app. Only after the app goes live, users will be able to download the app without any costs. More so, they can register themselves for vaccination thereafter.
The CoWIN app can help to supervise the number of persons who are receiving the vaccines across India. And accordingly, the vaccine developers can scale-up further vaccine production.
Some reports mention that three apps under the CoWIN name are being offered at the Google Play Store. Even so, these apps are not genuine ones, and downloading these apps is not advisable. As of now, more than 10,000 persons have downloaded the app and they are facing troubles. Plus, they are not receiving any information about the vaccination drive.
The cyber experts recommend avoiding such app downloads, for user data can be misused otherwise. More so, they opine not sharing any personal info on these apps.
Watch this space for more updates on the CoWIN app and how to register details.