The newly loaded CoWIN portal for Covid-19 vaccine registration with an added technology upgrade and enhanced security features was launched on Saturday. According to the Union health ministry, the nodal agency for the CoWIN portal, a new layer of security feature has been added to the portal.
The portal has added a four-digit security code system to minimise data entry errors about vaccination status. The new upgrade will not just help in updating more accurate information regarding vaccination but will also allay fears regarding wrong mobile messages about vaccination. “The move is likely to reduce the inconvenience caused to citizens,” the health ministry said on Friday.
Earlier the Union ministry was receiving complaints about marking many citizens registered on the portal as vaccinated even as they never received any jab. It was noticed that citizens who had booked their appointment for vaccination through the portal but somehow could not make it to the vaccination centre at the scheduled date were getting SMS notification that a vaccine dose has been administered to them.
After these complaints were raised with the Union ministry of health and family welfare, the technical team added an extra security layer to the system. “To minimize such errors and the subsequent inconvenience caused to the citizens, the CoWIN system is introducing a new feature of four-digit security code in the CoWIN application. Now, after verification, if the beneficiary is found eligible, before administering the vaccine dose, the verifier/vaccinator will ask the beneficiary about his four-digit code and then enter the same in the CoWIN system to correctly record the vaccination status,” the Union health ministry said in its statement.
The new feature will be applicable for citizens who have done an online booking for a vaccination slot. The four-digit security code will be printed in the appointment acknowledgment slip and will not be known to the vaccinator. The code will also be present in the confirmation SMS sent to the beneficiary after successful booking of an appointment.
“The appointment acknowledgment slip can also be saved and shown from the mobile. This will ensure that for those citizens who have booked an online appointment, the data entries regarding the vaccination status of a citizen are recorded correctly,” the ministry said.
According to the Union ministry, the new tech upgrade will reduce the opportunities for impersonation and wrongful use of flexibilities provided in CoWIN for facilitating vaccination coverage.
The ministry has also advised the citizens to carry a digital or physical copy of their appointment slip and the registered mobile phone with appointment confirmation SMS, so that the security code can be furnished for easy completion of the vaccination recording process.
“Citizens must provide the security code to the vaccinator as the digital certificate will be generated only after the vaccination record has been updated with the security code. Citizen should get confirmation SMS after the process has been successfully completed,” Union ministry note said.
The confirmation SMS indicates that the vaccination process has been completed successfully and the digital certificate has been generated. If one does not get the confirmation SMS, one should get in touch with the vaccinator or the vaccination centre in-charge, the ministry said.