The Center has proactively carried out activities to prepare for the nationwide deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in close collaboration with States / TUs and all stakeholders. The Department of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) hosted a video conference on Sunday with state and UT administrators on the CoWIN software that forms the backbone of last mile vaccine delivery.

The meeting was chaired by Ram Sewak Sharma, Chairman of the Enabled Group on Technology and Data Management to Combat COVID-19 and member of the National Expert Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration. Senior Secretaries of State, NHM Mission Directors, State Vaccination Officers, and senior officials from the Ministry of Health also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the feedback from States / UTs on the Co-WIN software and its operational use, resulting from the dry tests, was discussed in detail.

The President gave an overview of the Co-WIN software and the principles behind the technology back-up for the immunization exercise. He said robust, reliable and agile technology will form both the basis and the support for the country’s vaccination against COVID-19, which will be the largest vaccination exercise in the world.

The aim is for the process to be citizen-centered and based on the approach that the vaccine should be available anytime, anywhere.

He reaffirmed that inclusiveness, speed and scalability have been kept in mind when designing the single digital platform, with all components being portable, synchronous and without excessive and unnecessary dependencies.

The EG chair stressed the critical importance of capturing immunization data in real time, stating that this was non-negotiable; while the publication of data on the portal can be online or offline given the connectivity issues highlighted by a few states.

He also critically underscored the caution that needs to be taken to ensure that there are no proxies at all; beneficiaries must be identified in a unique and undeniable way, he firmly reiterated.

Speaking on using the Aadhar platform, he advised states to urge beneficiaries to seed their current mobile phone number with Aadhar for registration and SMS communication; there can be no proxy for Aadhar authentication.

He stressed that it is extremely important to clearly identify who is getting vaccinated and to keep a digital record of who gets vaccinated by whom, when and what vaccine. He also informed States and UTs that data collection should meet the objective of facilitating the work and that this needs to be validated in the field.

There was a detailed and in-depth discussion of the State / UT experience. Their comments and consequent changes in software / protocols based on these entries were discussed. These included issues such as: allocation / planning of sessions / schedule; Workflow allocation; Vaccinator’s allowance; Sending SMS to vaccinators and beneficiaries; and connectivity issues.