Soon, Indian users will be able to book COVID-19 vaccination slots and register for COVID-19 vaccine through third-party apps soon. The government of India has introduced a new set of guidelines for Co-WIN that are aimed at allowing third parties to enable registration, scheduling, and management of vaccination through their apps. This is an update to the existing framework where developers can only offer information on the availability of slots and facilitate download of vaccination certificates via their apps.
This comes at a time when India is facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, which is making it difficult for people to find vaccination slots on Co-WIN. The new APIs will allow app developers to roll out the ability to register and schedule an appointment and manage COVID-19 vaccination and facilities directly from their end. The developer-side changes will take place in the master database maintained for Co-WIN. Until now, government’s Aarogya Setu and Umang were the only two apps that allowed users to register and book COVID-19 vacccine appointments. On the other hand, third party apps could show the availability of appointment slots.
Recently, the government also revised the public API for Co-WIN to defer delivery of appointment data to third-party apps, which made COVID-19 vaccine availability information visible on apps like Paytm and HealthifyMe.
The government has also set up a designated email address for developers to register for the private APIs of CoWIN. The guidelines also suggest that the registration could be mandatory for developers using CoWIN’s public APIs.