Experts want walk-in jab, not app, for 50-plus | Pune News – Times of India


PUNE: Members of the central Covid-19 task force and public health experts have called for walk-in registrations instead of pre-registration on the CoWIN app when vaccine drives open next month for people over 50 years of age.

The experts said their suggestion comes in the wake of reports of CoWIN glitches from many states. Currently, health and frontline workers have to pre-register on the CoWIN app before they can get their shots.
“People over 50 should be able to walk to the vaccination sites and register themselves after submitting their Aadhaar or voter IDs. This will make the entire process much more simpler,” said task force member Dr Giridhara Rao.
He added that it’s time the government considered “out-of-the-box solutions”. “We need walk-in vaccinations. That means, you walk in with your Aadhaar, authenticate age in a minute, get vaccinated, wait 30 minutes and get home,” Rao said.
The government had earlier announced that people over 50 will be able to self-register on the CoWIN app, but experts said the process needs to be simplified further if pace of vaccination has to pick up.
They said the private sector too has to play a key role in the plan that hopes to cover 7-10 million people per day. They suggested that private hospitals, corporates and NGOs need to be roped in to boost the drive.
“Health workers, who were already under pressure while caring for patients, were then burdened with a system that needed pre-registration, which was of not much use,” said a health official.
Rao said, “CoWIN is not the problem, but the over-reliance on it is. The real strength of India is health workers and the micro-planning they use to carry out several immunisation campaigns. We need to use these micro-plans, permit walk-ins and rope in private hospitals.”
Epidemiologist Dr Lalit Kant said while CoWIN ensures monitoring of distribution and dosage, it should be improved for faster vaccination in the above-50 group. He added that three quarters or more of all deaths in the country due to Covid-19 have been among people in this category. “Vaccination of this group is key to reducing hospital admissions and deaths. The process has to be made much more simpler,” he said.
He also added that the shots have been found to be effective against new variants. “These variants may have put a dent on how well the vaccines work, but have not made them ineffective. The vaccines reduce the number of severe cases even among the elderly,” he said.

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