Ajeet Jain, the nodal officer at RGSS hospital, also confirmed that many beneficiaries did not receive the messages from the designated Co-Win app.(Reuters)
Ajeet Jain, the nodal officer at RGSS hospital, also confirmed that many beneficiaries did not receive the messages from the designated Co-Win app.(Reuters)

Co-WIN bugs impacting Covid-19 vaccination drive: Officials

Officials at a majority of Delhi’s 81 vaccination centres said a large number of health care workers did not receive texts informing them about their turn, due to which hospital staff had to call each one of them.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 02:51 AM IST

The low turnout of the beneficiaries at Covid-19 vaccination centres is not only because of vaccine hesitancy but also due to the glitches in Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) app, which failed to send out text messages to a majority of selected health workers even on the second day of the drive, senior officials in the Delhi government said on Monday.

Officials at a majority of Delhi’s 81 vaccination centres said a large number of health care workers did not receive texts informing them about their turn, due to which hospital staff had to call each one of them.

“The Co-WIN app randomly selects 100 beneficiaries for each centre and the list is sent to the respective hospitals/session sites. The problem we are facing since day one is that the auto-generated SMS is not being sent to most of the selected beneficiaries. The second issue is that the list is sent out late. For example, we got the list of 100 beneficiaries for Monday only at 8pm,” said Dr Yogesh Kushwaha, nodal officer at Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital in the east district.

He said as soon as they got the list, the hospital staff started calling up beneficiaries. “But, by that time it gets so late that many numbers are either unreachable or switched off. Then we follow-up in the morning,” he said.

BL Sherwal, director of the Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, one of the vaccination sites, has asked his assistant to call beneficiaries. Similarly, hospitals such as Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB), Delhi State Cancer Institute and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality (RGSS) have deployed their staff on full-time duty to track beneficiaries and contact them.

Dr Sweta, the nodal officer at GTB hospital, said only 24 beneficiaries got the vaccine jab on the second day at their hospital. “The app did not send out the messages to the beneficiaries till Sunday evening. It’s not possible to call 100 people in a go. While many did not respond immediately, some were not reachable. We have conveyed this to the district administration,” she said.

At RGSS hospital, just 20 frontline workers were vaccinated on the second day of the drive. Ajeet Jain, the nodal officer at the hospital, also confirmed that many beneficiaries did not receive the messages from the designated Co-Win app.

Dr Pragya Shukla, the nodal officer at Delhi State Cancer Institute, said, “None of the beneficiaries has received any message informing them about their appointment from the app designated for the purpose. Our staff had to call everyone in person”.

Responding to complaints, a Union health ministry official said, “Nearly 90% of glitches have been addressed. Speed has increased... A lot of the glitches are also there because of varying degrees of the IT acumen of vaccinator officers.”

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