Maharashtra suspends Covid-19 vaccine drive till Jan 18 due to CoWIN app glitch

  • Technical glitches in CoWIN app triggered communication lag and concerns among the beneficiaries.
File photo: A nurse prepares a syringe with Covid-19 vaccine. (AP)
File photo: A nurse prepares a syringe with Covid-19 vaccine. (AP)
Updated on Jan 16, 2021 11:10 PM IST
Copy Link
By | Edited by Sparshita Saxena, Mumbai

Against the target of vaccinating 28,500 health workers on the day of the launch of the Covid-19 drive, 64.34 per cent or 18,338 health care workers were inoculated on Saturday in Maharashtra. Technical glitches in CoWIN app triggered communication lag and concerns among the beneficiaries which led to a relatively low turnout, state health officials said. Maharashtra has decided to begin the next session on Tuesday, January 19, after a gap of two days.

Barring about 10 cases of mild reaction among the beneficiaries in some of the districts, no major events of 'Adverse Effect Following Immunisation' (AEFI) were reported in the state. The state government, which has planned the immunisation drive according to the Centre allotted stock of vaccines over the next 28 days, has stated that it will demand the additional stock at the earliest.

The highest number of immunisations was reported in Mumbai (1,926) against 4,000, though the percentage (48.15 per cent) was the lowest in the state. Districts that clocked high percentage of inoculation included Hingoli (100 per cent ), Beed (90.2 per cent), Buldhana (95.83 per cent).

Also read: 2 Delhi health workers felt slight tightness in chest after Covid shot Official

“We always expect 100 per cent turnout, but because of the technical glitches in the CoWIN app which resulted in the late alerts to the beneficiaries about their turn for inoculation, there was a drop in response. We have been sending the messages to the beneficiaries a day prior to the vaccination and it too may be the reason for a low turnout,” said Dr DN Patil, state immunisation officer.

According to another official from the state health department, some of the beneficiaries are in ‘wait and watch’ mindset and are expected to turn up gauging the results of the vaccination in initial days. With very few cases of Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI), we expect the remaining beneficiaries to turn up over the next few days, he added.

In six districts of Nagpur division, the turnout percentage was 63, while in four districts of Latur division it was 68 per cent. “We will accommodate the beneficiaries left out today to accommodate in next few days. The response from the beneficiaries will increase from next week,” said Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, deputy director, health services, Nagpur division.

Also read: Here is what health workers said after getting Covid-19 shots

Thane District saw 75.65 per cent vaccination as 1,740 beneficiaries got vaccinated out of 2,300 in 23 centres. The district saw no major glitches apart from server error, while no side effects were reported. Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation was the only corporation in the city to complete the 100 per cent vaccination target, as the drive began on time and ended on time with no chaos. Mira Bhayander reported 89.33 per cent turnout, Thane city 88.25 per cent, Navi Mumbai 78 per cent, Ulhasnagar 71 per cent, Thane rural 69.40 per cent, and Bhiwandi Nizampur 61.33 per cent.

Abhijeet Bangar, NMMC commissioner, said that the number is likely to increase in the coming days.

Thane District Collector, Rajesh Narvekar, inaugurated the vaccination drive in the city on Saturday. "This is a day of pride and happiness, more because the vaccine will first be given to our Covid warriors who have put in a lot of hard work to keep the situation under control in the last few months," said Narvekar.

Dr Patil said that barring a few minor cases of reactions such as giddiness, nausea and inflammation, no major reaction was reported in the state. “Though the vaccine is new, we have machinery in place for the vaccination. We had vaccinated 2.92 crore people during our Measle and Rubella mass vaccination drive last year. The backup machinery to take care of any reaction was ready but no beneficiary required hospitalisation,” he said.

Also read: I&B ministry starts work on self-regulation law for OTT platforms, online news

Many districts faced technical glitches in the CoWIN app that resulted in a communication lag. The vaccination teams were instructed to the refer and feed the data offline. "The server slowed down leading difficulties in uploading the data at many centres in our division. In Dhule district, all four centres faced problems. We have now directed the vaccination teams to register the details offline and then upload it subsequently. We had to use hard copies of beneficiaries data as the online data was not available for reference due to the glitches," said Dr PD Gandal, deputy director, health services, Nashik Division.

“The server had slowed down owing to which the messages could not be sent out. The issue was resolved by 2 am after which the messages were sent to the beneficiaries,” said Dr Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary, state health department.

The state government has decided not to hold the vaccination drive for two days on Sunday and Monday to work on the loopholes in the system. From Tuesday, the drive will start in a full-fledged manner. One of the main reasons for halting is the dysfunctional centralised CoWIN app. The state government has provided excel sheets to districts officers to upload data but as per BMC sources, that is also not working.

Dr Vyas said that the next session will be held either from Monday or Tuesday once the issues related to the CoWIN app were discussed with the Centre.

The state is holding four sessions a week and is expected to vaccinate about 4.4 lakh healthcare workers in 15 sessions over 28 days. The stock of 9,83,000 vials could cover about 4.4 lakh health workers with two doses each.

When asked about the short supply of the vaccines, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that it is the responsibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that all the states get proportionate number of vaccines. “I do not want to politicise it, but Centre should ensure that all the states get the vaccine in the proportion of the population,” he said.

Thackeray, who inaugurated the drive at BKC in Mumbai at 11.30 am on Saturday, said that there is no clarity if common people will get free vaccine as the call has to be taken by the Centre. “It is the call taken by the Centre over the charges towards vaccination, quota allotted to the states etc. There are 2-3 more vaccines expected to enter the market in the next few weeks after which there would be an adequate supply of the jab. I believe that the vaccine allocated to the states would increase after that,” he said.

State health minister said that there were no major incidents of Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI) reported. “People are happy to get inoculated and have been waiting for their turn. I am sure, once the prioritised groups are vaccinated in next 3-4 months, the vaccine will be available for the general public. We are also going to ask for the additional stock of the vaccines during our video conference with Union health minister Harsh Vardhan,” he said.

Dr Padmaja Saraf was the first beneficiary at the Jalna district hospital. She said, “After having gone through very challenging times at the hospital when the pandemic was at the peak, I am happy that the vaccine is now available. The vaccine is very safe and everybody should go for it whenever available,” she said.

Meanwhile, the state reported 2,910 cases of Covid-19 and 52 deaths on Saturday taking the tally to 1,987,678 and death toll to 50,388. Mumbai clocked 571 cases and 8 new deaths taking the total of cases to 3,02,226 and toll to 11,237.

Maharashtra has 51,965 active Covid-19 patients with the highest number of patients in Pune, 15887, followed by 9,608 in Thane and 6,966 in Mumbai. State’s recovery rate stands at 94.79 per cent as 18,841,27 patients have recovered from the contagion so far. State’s case fatality rate is at 2.54 per cent.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Surendra P Gangan is Senior Assistant Editor with political bureau of Hindustan Times’ Mumbai Edition. He covers state politics and Maharashtra government’s administrative stories. Reports on the developments in finances, agriculture, social sectors among others.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • As per the resolution, the Jammu district magistrate is required to ensure that no such devices are played within the MC jurisdiction between 10 pm and 6 am. (HT PHOTO)

    Jammu MC passes resolution to remove illegal loudspeakers from religious, public places

    In a move aimed at reducing noise pollution and providing relief to people, especially students, ailing and the elderly, the Jammu municipal corporation on Tuesday passed a resolution for the removal of loudspeakers and public address systems operating without permission from religious and public places, evoking criticism from the rival Congress. Corporators from the Opposition stiffly opposed the decision and said that it will vitiate peaceful atmosphere of Jammu, known for brotherhood.

  • Security forces had set up a checkpoint at Chandpora in Budgam and arrested the two terrorist associates, who were identified as Zahid Ahmad Sheikh and Sahil Bashir Dar. (Image for representational purpose)

    J&K: Two overground workers of LeT arrested in Budgam

    Security forces on Tuesday arrested two overground workers of Lashkar-e-Taiba from Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. “Police, along with security forces, have arrested two terrorist associates of proscribed terror outfit LeT in Budgam. Incriminating materials, explosives and ammunition were also recovered from their possession,” a police spokesman said.

  • During the pandemic, Mir Iqbal came up with the slogan ‘Respect all, suspect all’, earning the appreciation of the Prime Minister during a videoconference with select panchayat members. (HT Photo)

    Kashmir panchayat member goes the extra mile to implement government schemes

    A 37-year-old panchayat member from north Kashmir's Narwav area, Mir Iqbal, is reputed to go the extra mile and not just figuratively, as he moves from village to village trying to solve people's problems and implement government schemes on the grassroots level. A post-graduate from Kashmir University, Iqbal, joined politics in 2011 as a young Congress worker. The Narwav block, spread over 56 square kilometres, comprises 17 panchayats.

  • Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday announced to open SDM offices at Rakkar and Kotla Behar and block development office at Dadasiba in Jaswan Pragpur assembly constituency in Kangra. (Aqil Khan/Hindustan Times File)

    Himachal: SDM offices to come up at Rakkar, Kotla Behar in Kangra

    Himachal chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday announced to open SDM offices at Rakkar and Kotla Behar and block development office at Dadasiba in Jaswan Pragpur assembly constituency in Kangra. He was addressing a public meeting at Pragpur after inaugurating and laying foundation stones of 39 development projects worth 190 crore. He slammed the Congress' decision of appointing four working presidents in a small state like Himachal Pradesh.

  • AAP leader Manish Sisodia being welcomed in Shimla on Tuesday. (Deepak Sansta / Hindustan Times)

    AAP slams Jai Ram govt over deteriorating education system; baseless allegations, says BJP

    The Aam Aadmi Party, which is trying to make inroads into the bipolar politics in Himachal, on Tuesday announced that education and healthcare will be its main poll planks in the state assembly elections scheduled for later this year. AAP leader and Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday interacted with students and teachers to get the first-hand account of the education standards in Himachal Pradesh.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 18, 2022