To “minimise vaccine wastage,” the Centre on Monday allowed on-site registration and appointment for those aged 18 to 44 on the Cowin platform for Covid-19 vaccine at government-run vaccination centres. Private CVCs (Covid Vaccination Centres) will be unable to use this function for the time being, and will be forced to publish their vaccination schedules exclusively through slots for online appointments,” the Union ministry of health and family welfare said in a release.
The health Ministry also added that “This feature will be used only upon decision of the respective State/UT Government to do so. State/UT must decide on opening of on-site registrations/facilitated cohorts’ registration and appointments for 18-44 years age group based on the local context just as an additional measure to minimize vaccine wastage and for facilitating vaccination of eligible beneficiaries in the age group 18-44 years,”.
According to the ministry, offering only online appointments to people between the ages of 18 and 44 helped to prevent overcrowding at vaccination centres. On May 1, the Centre extended its massive vaccination drive for people aged 18 to 44 years.
“In case of sessions exclusively organized with online slots, towards the end of the day, some doses may still be left unutilized in case the online appointee beneficiaries do not turn up on day of vaccination due to any reason. In such cases, on-site registration of a few beneficiaries may be necessary to minimize the vaccine wastage,” the health ministry said.
It went on to say that, while CoWin allows for the registration of up to four members with a mobile number, as well as facilitated registration and appointments through apps like Aarogya Setu and Umang, as well as through Common Service Centres, people still need a “facilitated cohort’s facility,” and that “those without access to the internet, smart phones, or mobile phones may still have restricted access for vaccination.”