While waiving off fears that scheduling a vaccination date via the CoWIN app does not ensure a real shot, the Centre on Monday, May 31, confirmed that vaccine shortages had forced inoculation sessions to be cancelled in some instances.
"There have been some media reports suggesting that even a successful booking on the CoWIN platform for a vaccination slot does not assure one of a Covid-19 vaccine jab," a vaccination "myth buster" by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday, reported The New Indian Express.
Additionally, it called such reports "baseless and incorrect, not supported by full information on the matter".
Albeit, the same statement implicated that in certain situations, district immunisation officers would schedule a session, then cancel it if vaccines were in insufficient supply, forcing recipients to return without receiving their doses.
"This definitely caused inconvenience to such beneficiaries who booked their appointments for such vaccination centres or sessions," the ministry said.
To address this issue, CoWIN has now incorporated a function that allows district officials to reschedule vaccination sessions so that they do not have to be cancelled. The government also noted that when a session is rescheduled, pre-booked appointments for that session are likewise rescheduled.
In such cases, the recipient will not have to schedule a new appointment and will instead get an SMS informing them of the session's postponement. The system will still give beneficiaries the option of delaying or cancelling an appointment.
Concerns that those who have been vaccinated, have not received their vaccination certificates have been acknowledged by the ministry, which claimed that the web link for the COVID vaccination certificate is available in the text SMS sent to beneficiaries after successful updation of vaccination status in CoWIN.
States have been reminded regularly that vaccination certificates should be provided to all vaccinated beneficiaries on the same day of vaccination before they leave the vaccination centre, though there may be a one-day delay in some cases.
SC Flags Digital Divide On CoWIN Registration
The Supreme Court on Monday, May 31, posed searching questions to the Union government on the need for mandatory registration on the CoWIN portal for people to get vaccinated without keeping in mind the real 'digital India' situation. The court observed that the policymakers must have an ear to the ground.
"You keep on saying the situation is dynamic but policy makers must have their ears on ground. You keep on saying digital India, digital India but the situation is actually different in rural areas. How will an illiterate labourer, from Jharkhand get registered in Rajasthan? Tell us how you will address this digital divide," the bench sought to know from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. It said, "Please wake up and smell the coffee and see what is happening across the country. You must know the ground situation and change the policy accordingly. If we had to do it, we would have done it 15-20 days ago, " reported The News Minute.