Pune: Co-WIN system is unlikely to have a feature to prompt or ask citizens booking appointments about their Covid-19 status or disable appointments for those who had the infection but did not complete the three-month period after recovery.
R S Sharma, chairperson of the empowered committee on Covid-19 vaccination and head of the Co-Win platform, told TOI, “All such aspects cannot be integrated with Co-WIN. What if a person did contract Covid but does not report the same on the system if at all such a feature is introduced? It will not be practical to ask crores of people booking appointments if they have contracted Covid recently. Therefore, it is for the people to follow this advisory and cannot be enforced via Co-WIN.”
The ministry had on Wednesday announced that individuals with lab tests proven SARS-COV-2 should defer their vaccination by three months after recovery.
Sharma said people have been told to follow the advisory and have to choose the vaccination period in accordance with the advisory. “We are depending on its publicity and communication by the government to ensure that this advisory is followed. Co-WIN can only provide flexibility, it cannot force,” he said.
A senior official from the National E-Governance Division , electronics and information technology ministry, told TOI, “There would be no option on Co-WIN portal to prompt users about their Covid status before scheduling appointments. Co-WIN will not restrict appointment booking on the basis of this. Such a feature has not been planned and will not be put on the portal.”
The official added, “Healthcare workers at vaccination sites will advise prospective beneficiaries and may also put up a note at the centre to convey that those who have had Covid can take the vaccine three months after recovery.”
After the recent announcement by the Centre, experts have said it would be difficult for the government to implement this “as there is no way of knowing on Co-Win or at jab centres if a beneficiary recently contracted Covid-19 and has completed three months after recovery”.
A senior official from the health and family welfare ministry told TOI, “Carrying a Covid proof, such as test report to the vaccine centre, to prove that one has completed three months since recovery may be difficult to follow. Hence, healthcare workers in districts will have to be told to take necessary action for the implementation of the advisory via dissemination of the information to service providers as well as the general public and training of the vaccination staff.”