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India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Explained: What Is Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, All You Need To Know

According to the Government of India, Co-WIN has been made primarily to help track the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, monitor beneficiaries and enable citizens to register for the vaccination process

India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Explained: What Is Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, All You Need To Know
  • India has recently approved Covishield and Covaxin for emergency use
  • The priority population identified for inoculation include 30 crore people
  • Co-WIN is still under development and has not gone live yet

New Delhi: After fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for the whole of 2020, the country has started gearing up for a massive immunisation drive as it approved two vaccines against the novel coronavirus for emergency use on January 3, 2021. The two vaccines are AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s Covishield, which is being developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India and the indigenously made Bharat Biotech-ICMR’s Covaxin. Drug Controller General of India’s regulatory approval to these two vaccines for emergency use has paved the way for a massive inoculation drive in the country under which 30 crore people will be vaccinated. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the vaccine roll-out is set to happen in the country in less than a week now. MoHFW says that it will be the largest inoculation drive in the world. With an aim to conduct the drive, which has been planned over multiple phases, smoothly and to track and monitor beneficiaries, the government has introduced an application and dashboard called Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) which is still under-development. Being developed in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Co-WIN is going to be a one-stop digital platform for the COVID-19 vaccination delivery management in the country. Here is all you should know about it.

Also Read: India Gears Up For Second Massive COVID Vaccine Rollout Dry Run On January 8: Experts Explain The Preparedness

How Will The Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System Work?

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the vaccines will move from the manufacturer via air transport to four Primary Vaccine Stores or Government Medical Store Depot (GMSD) in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Then in refrigerated vans, the vaccines will be taken to the state vaccines stores. There are 37 state vaccines stores in the country. From there, the vaccines will be taken further to district vaccination stores and will be further transported to the primary healthcare centre in refrigerated vans. After reaching the primary healthcare centres, the vaccines will be carried in insulated boxes to sub-centre session sites which are the centres identified for administering vaccines. A real-time monitoring system has been put in place at each storage point called Cold Chain points. The government has identified 29,000 cold chain points across the country for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

At the vaccination sites, the beneficiaries registered on the Co-WIN App will be given the vaccine shot on the day and time allocated to them via the App. This will help in conducting vaccination drives without the beneficiaries queuing up or waiting for hours for their turn.

After the beneficiaries get vaccinated, they would get an acknowledgement text message on their registered number and a ‘Unique Health ID’ will be created for each inoculated individual. A QR (Quick Response) Code based certificate will be issued to the beneficiaries and all the subsequent vaccination-related information will be available in a digital locker. All the information fed into the Co-WIN App will be available to the individual who got vaccinated and the government with the help of a dashboard and reports.

The next step is AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunization) Reporting mechanism that is in-built in the management system. AEFI system aims to record and treat the adverse impacts experienced by vaccinated persons. After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the beneficiaries will be kept under observation of a doctor and a nurse for half an hour.

Also Read: India’s COVID Vaccination Programme Explained: Who Will Get It First, What Is The Process And Other Things You Need To Know

How To Enroll On Co-WIN?

According to Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination, the priority population which includes individuals at a higher risk like healthcare workers, frontline workers, those who are over the age of 50 years and people with co-morbidities. After the inoculation of priority population which covers 30 crore people, the rest of the population will get the vaccine, he said.

India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Explained: What Is Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, All You Need To Know

Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) will be available as a mobile App and a dashboard

Priority Population

The database of 75 lakh healthcare workers and frontline workers who will be vaccinated in the first phase in all the states and Union Territories has already been collated and fed into the Co-WIN app and so they do not have to register, as per MoHFW.

For identifying the individuals above the age of 50 years who need to be vaccinated, the authorities have to look at the database like electoral census which can be used as the primary database, said Dr Guleria. However, highlighted that some people may get left out of this database, in which case, the individuals above the age of 50 years can register themselves on the Co-WIN App using photo-identity documents like driving license or Aadhar Card or an I-Card issued by any government body. Once the document is uploaded, the individual would get a One Time Password (OTP) on their registered number acknowledging the acceptance of their application.

Next in line will be people with co-morbidities. Dr Guleria said that identifying and prioritising people with comorbidities for inoculation will be a challenging task. He said that a committee of experts is currently working on devising a scoring system where the person will get a score depending upon the severity of the disease.

Also Read: Ready To Roll Out COVID-19 Vaccine Within 10 Days Of Emergency Use Authorisation: Government

Rest Of The Population

According to MoHFW, the self-registration module for the public will be made available in the later phases of the implementation of the vaccine drive. They will have to upload a government photo identity or do an AADHAAR authentication. The authentication can happen via biometrics, OTP (one time password) or demographic. Once the registration is done, the details of the individuals will be sent to the District Magistrate (DM) through Co-WIN. The DM will then approve the application. Once approved, a date and time will be allocated for vaccination to the beneficiary via a message on the registered mobile number.

Beware Of Fake Apps

It is to be noted that the Co-WIN App is currently under development and is not available for download on any App Stores. However, according to MoHFW, taking advantage of the situation, many fake Co-WIN apps have been listed on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The Union Health Ministry has sent out a warning against the fake Co-WIN app on app stores.

According to the ministry, the fake apps ask users to register and demand personal information like Aadhar number, home address, name, and mobile number.

Also Read: All Indian Vaccines Being Developed For Storage At 2-8 Degree Celsius: Secretary, Department of Biotechnology

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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