Centre reviews technology back-up for Covid-19 immunisation drive

The union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) on Sunday held a video conference with administrators from states and UTs on the CoWIN software, which forms the backbone of the last mile vaccine administration.

The meeting, chaired by Ram Sewak Sharma, chairman of the Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat Covid-19 and member, National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19, reviewed the working of Co-WIN software and the principles that shall underpin the technology back-up for the vaccination exercise.
During the meeting the feedback from administrators of the states/UTs on the Co-WIN software and its operational use, emanating from the dry runs, was discussed in detail. The meeting was attended by state principal secretaries, NHM mission directors, and state immunisation officers and senior officers of the health ministry. 
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 is also the world’s largest immunisation exercise. 
He said the process should be citizen-centric, and built on the approach that the vaccine shall be available anytime and anywhere, but stressed on the need to be flexible 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 EG chairperson underscored the critical importance of capturing the vaccination data in real time, 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 critically highlighted the caution one needs to exercise to ensure that there are ‘no proxies’ at all; the beneficiaries need to be uniquely and undeniably identified, he said. 
Speaking on the use of Aadhar platform, he advised the states to urge the beneficiaries to seed 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.