On Monday, July 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the CoWIN global conclave where countries who have shown interest in the government's digital platform will be offered the technology as a digital public good to run their COVID-19 vaccination drive.
As many as 50 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama and Uganda, have shown interest in adopting the CoWIN platform, said Dr RS Sharma, the CEO of the National Health Authority (NHA). The Indian government has decided to create an open-source version of the platform and share it with any country that wants to use it for free, as reported by Hindustan Times.
The event, jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Health, External Affairs and the National Health Authority (NHA), aimed to share India's experience of universal vaccination with the help of the CoWIN platform. So what is CoWIN, and why so many countries are interested in it?
What is CoWIN?
CoWIN stands for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work. The platform was unveiled in January 2021 by the Centre when the vaccination drive against COVID-19 began in India. The website was created for beneficiaries and officials associated with the vaccination process. Using this, users can book vaccine slots, keep a track of vaccination drives in India and download the COVID-19 vaccine certificate. It also allows healthcare providers to manage vaccine stocks and keep a track of the workflow.
What Are The Key Features?
The e-portal allows users to book slots for vaccination and choose a date and time slot according to their preference. One can register on the website or the app with their phone number and then receive an OTP to continue the process. The user can then go ahead and book a vaccination slot. The platform also allows the beneficiary to add four family members in their profile to book slots, facilitating more people to get vaccinated.
It also gives the users the option to link one's passport with the COVID-19 vaccine certificate to facilitate citizens planning to travel abroad.
A Positive Reception
By and large, users have been impressed by the user-friendly nature of the website and the smooth registration process. "The website was functional and user friendly and there weren't any issues regarding screen freezing or similar incidents which I frankly expected, given the traffic on the website," said Deepanjan Bhadra (23), CEO of a Kolkata-based infrastructure development company. "The quality and functionality of the CoWin website is far better than most if not all other government websites I have used in the past," Bhadra added.
"In my experience, the portal mostly caters to the needs of the individuals who can afford vaccination through private hospitals and in that way portal has been quite successful in immunizing the 'haves'," said Aditya Sekhar Das (23), a post-graduate student at Presidency University, Kolkata. "However, the registration was a seamless process and after I had been vaccinated, in no time was I updated about it along with the vaccination certificate," Das noted.
What Will India Give To The Other Countries?
CoWIN will be made open-source, according to the Indian government, which means no intellectual property rights will be attached to it. The technology will be provided to the countries that want an orderly and transparent vaccination program, as reported by the Times of India. The government also said that no commercial use or a repackaged form of the technology will be allowed.
According to the CoWIN website, over 350 million vaccine doses have been administered, consisting of over 286 million first doses and 64 million second doses, through the portal. A total of 36,58,03,983 people have registered on the CoWIN portal as of July 5. On June 21, India administered close to 90,86,514 doses, the highest in a day.
All in all, the success of the CoWIN has been note worthy. It has and is continuing to facilitate, perhaps, the largest vaccination drive the country has ever seen. On July 5, India shared its success story of CoWIN portal with the rest of the world and also showed its magnanimity by sharing the technology for free. The Logical Indian pays a heartfelt tribute to CoWIN which has brought glory to our country.