The government of India yesterday initiated the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country. Earlier, it was stated that citizens would be able to register for COVID-19 inoculation via the Co-WIN app and website; however, the government has now clarified that the app (available on Google Play Store) is currently only meant for administrators and not beneficiaries. It essentially means that people above 60 years of age and those over 45 with co-morbidities will need to register through the Co-WIN web portal. There’s no information about the app’s availability’s for eligible beneficiaries yet.
In a tweet, the Ministry of Health clarified, “There is no Co-WIN App for beneficiary registration. The App on Play Store is for administrators only.” The tweet added saying, “Registration and booking for an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination are to be done through Co-WIN portal (http://cowin.gov.in.).” Notably, in a conversation with News18, RS Sharma, chairman of the Co-Win panel, had indicated that eligible beneficiaries would be able to self-register via the Co-WIN portal and app alongside Aarogya Setu app from March 1 or March 2. It is likely that the app might start working for beneficiaries in the coming days.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) March 1, 2021
Speaking of the Co-WIN web portal or Co-WIN 2.0, the website has been updated, and eligible beneficiaries can now register online. The government states that the first step of registration involves logging in via your 10-digit mobile number. After that, users will receive an OTP and will then need to register again by providing basic information and photo ID (Aadhaar card, driver’s license). Following that, select your nearby Vaccine Centre for COVID-19 vaccination and book the slot. Citizens can register as many as four family members with a single mobile number. As mentioned, the existing Aarogya Setu app will also seemingly get the same benefits. Recently, the app got a dedicated CoWIN section that provides statistics and access to links where beneficiaries can receive certificates.
It appears that citizens cannot choose which vaccine they will get via the Co-WIN portal. They can choose the date and COVID-19 vaccine centre. Additionally, people aged above 45 years will have to upload a medical certificate mentioning their co-morbid conditions. Many private hospitals have also received certification to act as COVID-19 vaccine centres where they cannot charge more than Rs 250 per shot. COVID-19 vaccines are free of cost in government hospitals. Citizens who are not tech-savvy or do not own a smartphone can call the centre number — 1507. As mentioned, they can walk-in to the nearest centre and if there’s a vacancy.
It is worth mentioning that several users have also taken to social media to raise concerns over the Co-WIN 2.0 or Co-WIN web portal. Many are claiming that website is buggy and aren’t to register only. In many cases, users are not receiving the OTP.