CoWIN software forms the backbone of the last mile vaccine administration as India gears up for nationwide Vaccine roll out

For the nationwide roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine, the Centre in close collaboration with States/UTs and all stakeholders has been proactively carrying activities towards preparing for the systematic vaccine roll out. The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) today held a VC with administrators from States and UTs on the CoWIN software which forms the backbone of the last mile vaccine administration.

Ram Sewak Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group chaired the meeting on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19 and member, National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19. The meeting was attended by the State Principal Secretaries, NHM Mission Directors, and State Immunization officers and senior officers of the Health Ministry. During the meeting the feedback of the States/UTs on the Co-WIN software and its operational use, emanating from the dry runs, was discussed in detail.

Giving an overall view of the Co-WIN software and the principles that shall underpin the technology back-up for the vaccination exercise, R. S. Sharma said that robust, dependable and agile technology shall form both the foundation and the back-up for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination which shall be the world’s largest immunization exercise. He highlighted that the process should be citizen-centric and built on the approach that the vaccine shall be available anytime and anywhere without compromising on quality. He reiterated that the inclusivity, speed and scalability have been kept in mind while designing the unique digital platform with all components being portable, synchronous without excessive and unnecessary dependencies.

The importance of capturing the vaccination data in real time was highlighted by the EG Chairperson, stating that this was non-negotiable; while the posting of data on the portal may be online or offline in view of connectivity issues being highlighted by few states.

He also underscored the cautionary measures one needs to exercise to ensure that there are ‘no proxies’ at all and all the beneficiaries need to be uniquely and undeniably identified. Speaking on the use of Aadhar platform, he advised the States to urge the beneficiaries to feed their current mobile number with Aadhar for registration and consequent communication through SMS; there cannot be any proxies for Aadhar authentication. He pointed out that it is extremely important to clearly identify person who is getting vaccinated and keep a digital record on who gets vaccinated by whom, when and which vaccine. He also advised the States and UTs that the data collection should meet the purpose of facilitating work and that needs to be validated at the field levels.