Covid-19: Getting an appointment slot a major challenge as vaccination drive progresses:Survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 06, 2021

As the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive progresses, the primary challenge for people has shifted to finding an appointment slot, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

The Government of India March 1 rolled out the second phase of its Covid-19 vaccination drive across India for senior citizens and those above age 45 with co-morbidities along with vaccination by roping in close to 24,000 private hospitals.

However, people faced difficulties in terms of registering themselves for vaccination via the CO-WIN site or the Aarogya Setu App on the first day of the drive. LocalCircles had conducted a survey on March 1 which received over 14,000 responses. As per the survey, only 8 per cent of those who tried to get the vaccine appointment using the CO-WIN site or Aarogya Setu app were able to do so.

With four days into the next phase, it conducted another survey in an attempt to understand if issues with the CO-WIN site or Aarogya Setup app still persist. The survey received over 8900 responses from citizens located in 204 districts of India.

As per the survey, the challenge has now shifted from getting an OTP to getting an appointment slot. As per the report, 20 per cent of those who tried to get the vaccination appointment were able to do so.

The latest survey explored how citizen and their family registration with the CO-WIN site or Aarogya Setu app for COVID-19 vaccination worked this week.

The percentage of citizens who could not get an appointment increased from 29 per cent to 58 per cent, whereas the number of those who did not receive OTP or had other issues decreased drastically from 50 per cent in the March 1, 2021, survey to 15 per cent in the latest survey.

As per the report, 20 per cent of respondents “could get the appointment”, 58 per cent “could not get an appointment”, and 15 per cent “could not get the OPT or faced other issues.”. On the other hand, 7 per cent “gave up on CO-WIN and did walk-in”.

“The survey result indicates that finding appointments for registration for senior citizens and those above age 45 with co-morbidities in the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive, using the CO-WIN or Aarogya Setu app, continues to be a frustrating experience for many,” LocalCircles said.

It further emphasizes the importance of the smooth functionality of the CO-WIN system during the vaccination drive given that vaccine hesitancy is the lowest till date and the Prime Minister and many Central and State Government leaders across the country have taken the vaccine.

“The challenge for the Government is ensuring smooth functioning of the CO-WIN site and Aarogya Setu app as well as ensuring that hospitals are uploading their details as well as vaccinations completed and slots available,” it said.

The second major challenge for the government would be to ensure that there is no black marketing or overcharging in terms of vaccines.

“In addition to CO-WIN, the other challenge would be ensuring that there is no black marketing and overcharging on administering the vaccine,” it said.

“With so many private and Government hospitals now involved, if traceability and accountability goes missing, some of the qualifying senior citizens or those with co-morbidities could be pushed down in the queue by friends and family of the healthcare professionals and the VIPs,” it added.

Published on March 06, 2021

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