Huge rush on Cowin portal as youth start to register
In five hours, more than 1.1 crores (11 million) youngsters registered for Covid vaccination on Wednesday when India opened up registration of age between 18 to 44 years. Due to acute vaccine shortage, the youngsters were given only registration and not allowed allotment of slots (timing) for vaccination and the authorities said that first preference will be given to the second shot of people from 45 years and the first shot of people from 45 years.
India’s vaccination figures are still very less. As of date, in the country with more than 136 crore population, only 14.5 crores have been vaccinated (above 45 years) and out of which 2.36 crore (23.6 million) people are fully (got the second dose) vaccinated. This shows that 1.7% of the population is only vaccinated. From January to March, India has exported more than 6.6 crore doses to 60 countries when the country had hardly vaccinated only 4.46 crores. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is widely criticised for this vaccine export policy when there was an adequate shortage inside the country. Now many are facing difficulties to find second vaccination and the government’s vaccination portal Cowin’s portal is not able to cope up with the huge rush after the registration for 18 years and above was opened on April 28. Due to heavy rush, the portal started working only by 4 PM, though it earlier announced registration from 12 midnight. In India, many government portals showed these kinds of crashes. For example, many tax portals especially the GST portal and corporate affairs portal (MCA) is prone to downtimes for so many past years. Incidentally, the GST and MCA portal is handled by Infosys and still the government has not rectified it.
The current Union Budget approved by Parliament has allotted a handsome amount of Rs.35,000 crore vaccination and many state governments are also allotted 100s of crores for the vaccination for the financial year 2021-22.
From the present statistic on the vaccine supply assurance from Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech and procedures of import of vaccines like Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik etc, it is widely calculated that vaccination will get momentum promptly only by June or July in India. But here another question is: Can vaccination be managed only through the Cowin website or Aarogya Sethu App India like a vast country where around 95 crore people are above 18 years, eligible for vaccination? Governments – both Central and states – should go to local area wise and conduct vaccination camps in each location to populate the people of India for the full benefit of vaccination to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current Union Budget approved by Parliament has allotted a handsome amount of Rs.35,000 crore vaccination and many state governments are also allotted 100s of crores for the vaccination for the financial year 2021-22. It is sure that India would take more than a year or two for the full vaccination or at least overcome the expected third wave of the pandemic. Many scientists feel the third wave would not be so harsh as the ongoing macabre situation of the second wave. But India – both Centre and state governments – must be prepared to gear up the vaccination spree in the coming three-four months to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. The youngsters – 18 to 44 years – should be as early as possible allotted slots for vaccination and all agencies and all political parties must unite on this world’s biggest vaccination drive with open hearts.
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