New Delhi, Mar 2 (PTI) Over 50 lakh people have registered themselves on the Co-WIN portal, without any system glitch, since the window opened Monday morning, the Centre said, adding that nearly 5 lakh beneficiaries above 60 or those aged 45-60 with comorbidities have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine till Tuesday evening.
The vaccination drive for the above said group began on March 1, and the registration opened at 9 am Monday on the Co-WIN portal — http://cowin.gov.in/” ncowin.gov.in.
A total of 1,54,61,864 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 7 pm Tuesday, the ministry said in an update in the evening.
These include 67,32,944 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the 1st dose and 26,85,665 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 55,47,426 frontline workers (FLWs, 1st dose), 828 FLWs (2nd dose).
Also, 4,34,981 beneficiaries above 60 and 60,020 people aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities have been vaccinated, the ministry said.
A total of 6,09,845 vaccine doses were given on Tuesday till 7 pm, the forty-sixth day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination.
Out of these, 5,21,101 beneficiaries were vaccinated for 1st dose and 88,744 HCWs and FLWs received 2nd dose of vaccine as per the provisional report, the ministry said, adding final reports would be completed for the day by late night.
R S Sharma, the Chairman of the Empowered Group (EG) on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, told a weekly health ministry press conference with other ministry officials here that there have been no glitches in the system.
On certain complaints about technical glitches, he said what happened was that people were looking for an App on Playstore which appeared similar to Co-WIN and started using that, when no mobile App meant for registration is present right now.
Citizens can register and book an appointment for vaccination using the Co-WIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu, he said.
“Though there were some glitches in the first version of the Co-WIN which was launched on January 16, we have had no glitches in the new version of the system,” he said.
After one has taken the first dose, the second jab will be automatically rescheduled at the same hospital, but if one is not in the city one can “schedule one”s appointment there also”, Sharma said. “We will take care to ensure one doesn’t get two different vaccines at two jabs.”
The official said the government is watching the registration system closely as it has to be “highly scalable”.
“After all, it is a program with which we will be vaccinating 1/6th of humanity and this program has to cater to millions of people at the same time,” he said.
“We want data to be secure and free from cyber-attacks. We are following best security practices. We are only collecting data in the form of name, age and gender as we need to monitor the second dose,” he said.
Sharma said state governments are coordinating with hospitals and supplying vaccines to them and “we are encouraging them to involve more and more private hospitals””. Total number of hospitals which are involved in this job are 26,000-27,000. There are 12,500 private hospitals.
In response to a question on people facing problems in registering on the portal, Sharma said, “People might be facing trouble in getting registered maybe for some reason. As far as I know, 50 lakh people have already registered since yesterday morning. By this figure, we can say that at least 2 lakh people per hour have registered. It is a great speed. If there was so much of a problem then so many people would not have been able to register. Still there could be some shortcoming on our part and we will try to address it.”
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the timeline of vaccinating between 9 am to 5 pm has been done away with.
“If the hospital has the capacity, the system permits them to do vaccination even after 5 pm in consultation with state governments. This has been briefed both to the state government as well as private and government hospitals,” Bhushan said.
On many healthcare and frontline workers not taking the 2nd dose, Bhushan said the vaccination drive is voluntary and no one can be forced.
“Yes, those who have taken the first dose and not the second dose can be tracked as Co-WIN provides a provisional certificate to the ones administered with the first dose. Usually the second dose needs to be taken four weeks after the first but if for some reason the person is not available, then the dose can be taken 2-3 days after that also,” he said.
NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul stressed that it is very important to take the second dose as a person is protected only after both doses are administered.
On how big a logistical challenge it was to supply vaccines at all locations and for maintaining the cold chain, Bhushan said, “It is indeed a huge and complex logistical challenge.
“We have 4 GMSDs, these are the depots where vaccines are stored by the union government. There are 60 consignee points across states and then there are 29,000 cold chain points which take the vaccine to the point where it is actually administered. This is the broad framework,” he said.
“Broadly, five crore doses of vaccine have been moved so far within the country and roughly 46 lakh vials have been moved and this would not have been possible without the active collaboration of ministry of civil aviation, private airlines, Air India and the vaccine manufacturers,” he said. PTI PLB/AG TIR
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