COVID-19 vaccination drive in India is expected to commence shortly after the government recently approved Oxford Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccines. Earlier in December 2020, the central government had announced the launch of the Co-WIN app to aid agencies with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to citizens of the country. Notably, the app is also designed to enable citizens to self-register for the vaccination process. However, that may take some time as the vaccination drive will start for frontline workers and other vulnerable citizens in the first phase of distribution.
The government had explained that the Co-WIN app comes with five modules, namely - Administrator module, Registration module, Vaccination module, Beneficiary Acknowledgement module, and Report module - to ensure smooth tracking and registration for COVID-19 vaccine in the country. The mobile app is also an upgraded version of the eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) and it will be available to download for free via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, though its availability details remain unclear. The app may also launch on Jio phones that run on KaiOS.
Citizens who are not frontline health workers can register for the vaccine via the 'Registration Module' (once the app is available). Photo identity will be required for registration. As expected, the admins via the 'Administrator module' will be able to track the information provided by citizens on India. "It will upload bulk data on co-morbidity provided by local authorities or by surveyors," the government had explained last month. Admins will also be responsible for creating sessions, and the respective vaccinators and managers will receive relevant notifications and alerts.
The Vaccination module of the Co-Win app will verify the beneficiary details and update vaccination status. The 'Beneficiary Acknowledgement Module' will then send SMS to beneficiaries and also generate QR-based certificates after one gets vaccinated. Lastly, the Report Module will prepare reports of how many vaccine sessions have been conducted, how many people have attended those, how many people have dropped out etc.
Earlier, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan clarified that vaccine will be free for frontline workers. It is not yet clear whether the vaccine for people above 50 years and people with co-morbidities will be free or subsidised.