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Pune: Vaccination halted briefly at Sassoon General Hospital after trouble with CoWin 2.0

According to officials, the updated digital platform, CoWin 2.0, was not able to verify the age of the beneficiaries, who would be eligible for the vaccine shot only if they were above 60 or above 45 comorbidities.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas , Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: March 1, 2021 10:32:37 pm
Covid vaccine 'COVAXIN' manufactured by Bharat Biotech stored at the Cold Chain Point (CCP) at District General Hospital in Aundh (Express photograph by Arul Horizon)

As the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination began on Monday, several walk-in beneficiaries, who had registered on the new CoWin app to take the vaccine shot, were kept waiting at B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital for almost three hours as struggled with technical glitches in the app.

According to officials, the updated digital platform, CoWin 2.0, was not able to verify the age of the beneficiaries, who would be eligible for the vaccine shot only if they were above 60 or above 45 comorbidities. Because of the glicthes, the vaccination process was halted briefly on Monday.

“On the old platform, we could verify the identity of the beneficiary with Aadhaar information. But now, there is a biometric system which captures the photo identity card. We were not aware of these changes and hence we did not have these logistics to complete the process by feeding the information into the system,” said an official at Sassoon Hospital.

“Earlier, the identification documents of the beneficiaries were uploaded in the system as the healthcare workers and frontline workers were registered in advance. Now, with the vaccinations being open for the general public, we have to be more vigilant… we have to click a picture of the beneficiary and the photo identity card… and resume the process,” said the official.

Doctors at Sassoon Hospital said they didn’t have the necessary system and equipment to verify the identities of the people who had registered or walked in for the vaccine.

Dean of B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Dr Murlidhar Tambe, and others visited the site after several beneficiaries were told to wait.

Anagha Salukhe, who had accompanied her 85-year-old father from Padmavati, said she was disappointed at the chaos. “There was a lot of mismanagement and several issues… right from the registration process. We were initially told to go back as they said they are not able to get the verification process done…, ” she said.

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After the initial delay of a few hours, however, the senior citizens were given the vaccination shots.

The process restarted at 2.30 pm and, according to Sassoon authorities, those who were waiting were given the shots. A total of 95 beneficiaries got the vaccine shots, of which 65 were above 60 and two were above 45 with co-morbid conditions, 11 were healthcare workers who got the first dose while 13 got the second shot. Four frontline workers also got the first dose of the vaccine.

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