On-site vaccine registration: Government enables walk-in appointment for 18-44 age group for COVID-19 vaccine
The feature for on-site registration and appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine is now being enabled for the 18-44 years age group on CoWIN.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on May 24, 2021, that the feature for on-site registration in addition to online appointment is now being enabled for the 18-44 years age group on CoWIN.
However, currently, the feature is being enabled only for the Government COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs). The Health Ministry clarified that this feature will not be available for Private CVCs presently and that the Private CVCs will have to publish their vaccination schedules exclusively with the slots for online appointments.
On-site registration & appointment is now being enabled for the 18-44 years age group on CoWIN. However, this feature is being enabled only for Government #COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs), at the present moment in time: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
While highlighting the significance of CoWIN, the Health Ministry pointed that the facility of only online appointment mode initially to individuals in the age group between 18-44 years has helped in avoiding overcrowding at the vaccination centers.
• As per the Health Ministry, the feature will be used only upon the decision of the respective State/UT governments to do so.
• The State and UT government must decide on the opening of on-site registration/facilitated cohort registrations and appointments for 18-44 years age group based on the local context just as an additional measure for minimizing the vaccine wastage and for facilitating the vaccination of eligible beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years.
• The Government has advised the Governments of States and UTs to issue clear instructions to all the District Immunisation Officers to strictly follow the decisions of the respective States and the Union Territories regarding the extent and manner of using the on-site registration and appointment feature for 18-44 years age group.
• The Ministry has also stated that the fully reserved sessions can also be organized to provide vaccination services to the beneficiaries belonging to the facilitated cohorts. As per the release, wherever such fully reserved sessions are organised, all the efforts must also be made to mobilize such beneficiaries in sufficient numbers.
How on-site registration will help in minimizing vaccine wastage?
As per the Health Ministry, many doses may still be left unutilized in case the online appointee beneficiaries do not turn up on the vaccination day for any reason. In such cases, the on-site registration of few beneficiaries may be necessary for minimizing the vaccine shortage.
As per the release, even though CoWIN provides for features such as the registration of up to 4 beneficiaries with mobile number, facilitated appointments and registrations through applications, such as Umang and Aarogya Steu, etc., people requiring facilitated cohort's facility and those without the access to smartphones or internet may still have the limited access to the vaccination.
Avoid overcrowding at vaccination centers:
The Union Health Ministry while making the announcement has further advised the State and UT governments that abundant caution must be exercised and extreme due care must be taken while opening up the on-site registration and appointment for the 18-44 years age group, for avoiding overcrowding at the vaccination centers.
As per the government, the online registration initially for the 18-44 years age group helped in avoiding overcrowding at both government and private vaccination centers.
COVID-19 Vaccination in India:
The coverage of vaccination was expanded by the government in the age group of 18-44 years on May 1, 2021, with the implementation of Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.
The country has crossed an important landmark in its fight against the pandemic after the vaccine doses for the age group 18-44 administered in the country crossed one crore.
The cumulative number of vaccine doses administered in India has exceeded 19.60 crores under the phase-3 of nationwide vaccination drive.