COVID Vaccination: On-site registration, facilitated cohorts for 18-44 age group enabled on CoWIN
People in the 18-44 years age group receiving the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, in Patna on May 9, 2021.Aftab Alam Siddiqui/IANS

COVID Vaccination: On-site registration, facilitated cohorts for 18-44 age group enabled on CoWIN

New Delhi, May 24, 2021

The Union Government has enabled the facility of on-site registration and facilitated cohort registration for the 18-44 years age group on the CoWIN -- its digital platform for implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

This has been done based on the various representations given by the States and inputs received by Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), an official press release said here today.

According to the release, 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.

Even though CoWIN provides for features such as registration of up to four beneficiaries with a mobile number, facilitated registration and appointments through applications, such as ArogyaSetu and Umang and through the Common Service Centres etc., people requiring facilitated cohort’s facility and those without access to internet or smart phones or mobile phones may still have limited access for vaccination.

"Therefore, the feature for on-site registration and appointment is now being enabled for 18-44 years age group on CoWIN," the release from MoHFW said.

However, this feature is being enabled only for Government COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs) for the present.

The feature will not be available for Private CVCs, presently and the Private CVCs will have to publish their vaccination schedules exclusively with slots for online appointments.

This feature will be used only upon decision of the respective State or Union Territory (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," the release said.

The Ministry has advised the States and UTs to issue clear instructions to all District Immunization Officers to strictly adhere to decision of respective State/UT Government regarding the extent and manner of using the on-site registration and appointment feature for 18 to 44 years age group.

Fully reserved sessions can also be organized for providing vaccination services to the beneficiaries belonging to facilitated cohorts. Wherever such fully reserved sessions are organized, all efforts must also be made to mobilize such beneficiaries in sufficient numbers.

The Ministry has also told States and UTs that abundant caution should be exercised and extreme due care taken while opening up of on-site registration and appointment for 18-44 years age group, in order to avoid overcrowding at vaccination centres.

"The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level. A graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach has allowed for the exercise to be modified to suit present circumstances in wide consultation with all stakeholders.

"With launch of phase II of the National Vaccination Drive on 1st March 2021, facility for only online registration and appointment of citizens aged 45 years or more was offered on CoWIN digital platform. The feature for on-site registration and appointment was introduced later for these priority groups. Subsequently, the coverage of vaccination was expanded to people in the age group of 18 to 44 years on 1st May 2021 with implementation of the Liberalised Pricing & Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy. The facility of only online appointment mode initially to people in the age group of 18 to 44 years helped to avoid overcrowding at the vaccination centres," the release added.

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