Former telecom regulator Ram Sewak Sharma, chairman of the government's Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19 and member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration spoke to NDTV about the country's vaccination programme that expands on Monday. The second phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive will focus on people over 60 and those over 45 with illnesses. Mr Sharma, who heads the operations under the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network or CoWIN platform, explained the registration process, the ways to get the vaccine and more.
Here is what you need to know about the vaccination drive:
Can't Choose Vaccine
"They (people) will not be able to choose which vaccine they will get. They can choose which date they want to go, what centre."
One Phone, Four Appointments
"You can use somebody else's phone as well so you need not have a smartphone yourself. On one mobile phone, you can make four appointments."
Register On Aarogya Setu App
"We are not making you download any separate app. You can do it with the existing Aarogya Setu app."
"CoWIN app ecosystem consists of a number of apps in the backend. One will be timetable publication app. One other is to verify your identity and eligibility. Immediately after vaccination, you are issued a certificate. That is the third part."
"The most important part is how do you connect with the system. These front-end applications can be done by many include Aarogya Setu which will get an extension. There will also be the web portal of the CoWIN app. And there will be IVRs and call centres."
"There will be multiple inlets. You can go to the website of the CoWIN app which is cowin.gov.in and there also you will be able to register. You also can go to the Seva Kendra in the village which is the common service centre to get yourself enrolled. There are 2.5 lakh common service centres in 6 lakh villages."
"Like in a train you have certain compartments which are reserved and certain compartments which are unreserved. Which means you can walk in. So basically you can also walk in to a centre and if there are vacancies, you will be able to get yourself vaccinated. States will be deciding what percentage of a particular centre's capacity will be online and offline."
"People will be able to schedule the appointment and shown centres near them. Government hospitals and health centres will be participating in this. We have around 12,000 locations. We will also include 12,000 more hospitals which are Ayushman Bharat empanelled hospitals or CGHS hospitals. So that's 24,000 centres."
Launch On Monday
"All apps and platforms will be ready by first of March. People will be able to register, make appointments and get vaccinated."
Like Train Reservation
"When trains are running, the first thing railways have to do is publish the timetable. So all hospitals who will participate in the vaccination process, they will publish the timetable of vaccination and number of people they will be able to vaccinate in one particular day. Once the timetable is published, a person who wants to get vaccinated, they will be able to register themselves either on the applications."
"We have changed this (vaccination programme) from a supply-driven to a demand-driven (initiative). People who want to get vaccinated will be able to choose the centre. This approach is more citizen-centric.