Many Indians living in rural areas are also having issues with online access, leading to a delay in the booking of a vaccination slot. Prior to the helpline number, Indian citizens were only able to book an appointment for Covid-19 via the CoWIN portal.
Sharma said that to ensure that the system is inclusive, NHA has opened a 1075 helpline number where one can call and book appointments for the Covid-19 vaccine. “He added that all common service centres partnering with the government will now register/book slots for vaccination in rural areas,” he was quoted as saying.
Anyone who is allowed to take a jab can book their Covid-19 vaccination slot using the helpline number. This means that if you’re in any of the age groups categorised by the government for the vaccination drive, you’re eligible for booking a slot using the 1075 helpline number.
The NHA chief pointed out that half the population in the 45-plus age group are walk-in registrations, which itself is proof of the inclusivity of the system. However, in the 18-44 age group, there are problems arising due to the shortage in vaccine supply.
Sharma also noted that whether it is a VVIP or a normal citizen, everyone has access to the same data about vaccination. He believes that the current system gives people confidence that no one is getting prioritised.
Besides the CoWIN website and the helpline number, one can also book their slots from the Aarogya Setu app. Sharma said that the government’s policy allows third-party app developers to integrate the CoWIN API in their own platforms and thus enable people to directly book slots for vaccination. “We had published the APIs long ago for third-party applications so that state governments use them to create apps for vaccination,” he said.