Days after the centre opened the anti-Covid vaccination drive for all adults, getting inoculated against the deadly virus amid the demand-supply gap is still turning out to be very difficult. Appointments for both free and paid vaccinations on the dedicated CoWIN portal and the Aarogya Setu application are hard to secure. However, some tools and tricks have emerged to help people reserve the vaccination slots.
An Internet platform named Under45.in, developed by a Chennai-based man, provides district-wise updates on vacant vaccine slots via Telegram channels. Another such platform, named Getjab.in, sends alerts via email.
Paytm, the online payment giant, has also integrated a vaccine finder in its mobile application.
The subscribers of the 'My Government Corona Helpdesk' bot can get WhatsApp updates on vaccine centres. It, however, doesn't alert about the available vaccination slots.
NDTV spoke to a few people from the 18-44 age group who got vaccinated, to learn about the strategy they had employed to get the slots.
"You have to spend a lot of time on the CoWin portal, just to be able to keep refreshing and checking. There are certain things that worked for me - how far are you willing to travel (for vaccination). Just being open to travelling helps a lot. Keep looking...I live in UP. Vaccinations here started today, but I got vaccinated a week ago in South Delhi," said Harsh Rana, who lives in Noida.
Reshbha Munjal from Gurugram said there is no alternative to hard work when it comes to booking a vaccination slot. "Keep refreshing the CoWIN website," she says.
She said the best time to find the slots is between 6 pm to 11 pm.
Ms Munjal said those who are lucky to find a slot must not waste time in deciding the timings or which vaccine to opt for, as the slots get filled quickly.
Those who are not tech-savvy should give their logins to their friends and family members who know their way around gadgets.