Vaccination drive is underway in India since January 16 (Image: Reuters)
Most people who have tried to book appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine through Co-WIN portal have faced difficulties on day one, according to a survey conducted by the community social platform LocalCircles.
The survey said around 92 percent of those who tried to register for COVID-19 vaccination through Co-WIN had difficulty with only 8 percent were able to register on Day 1.
Read More: Co-WIN: Minor glitches mar registrations as COVID-19 vaccination drive for general public kicks off
The survey received over 14,000 responses from citizens located in 221 districts of India.
On March 1, the government expanded the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive to include all citizens above the age of 60 and those over age 45 with comorbidities. For the first time, they opened the Co-WIN portal for self-registration and advance booking of slots for vaccination.
The vaccine registration became available from 9 am onwards on March 1, the reasonable price announced through private hospitals and Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the vaccine led to a large number of people hitting the Co-WIN sites and apps for registering for the vaccine.
"As people attempted to do so, LocalCircles started seeing hundreds of posts and comments from across the country about several glitches they faced,"
Taking cognizance of these citizen reports, LocalCircles said it conducted a survey in an attempt to quantify the problem.
About 13 percent complained that they failed to access the site or app, 50 percent said OTP/SMS registration didn’t work, 29 percent said registration worked but no appointments were available. Only 8 percent of citizens said they were able to book the appointments successfully.
Dismissing the "rumours" of technical glitches in the Co-WIN platform, RS Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration (Co-WIN), on March 1 said the confusion was created by spreading misinformation that vaccination registration is being done through a mobile application.
There were rumours that people who want to book an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination should register on the Co-WIN app instead of Co-WIN website.
Speaking to ANI, RS Sharma CEO of NHA said, "There has been no glitch right from the start. What happened was that some people spread the misinformation that there is a Co-WIN app. So, people started searching for an app that is not ours. That is why there was some confusion among the people. After clarifying there is no Co-WIN app, we have given an extension in the Aarogya Setu app for registration and provided a portal.
Read More: Co-WIN app meant only for administrators, vaccine registration to be done through portal: Govt
Here's a quick guide on how to register for COVID-19 vaccination using the Co-WIN portal
PM Modi taking jab helps reduce vax hesitancy
In a separate survey, Local Circles said it also found that Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking the jab, helped to reduce the vaccine hesitancy to 36 percent. A similar survey released on February 19 this year pointed out that the vaccine was at 50 percent.
This survey received 7,797 responses.
About 7 percent of the people polled in the survey have said they have taken one or both doses, 17 percent said they will be taking the vaccine very soon, 40 percent said they will be taking the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them. About 15 percent of citizens said they will wait up to 3 months, 7 percent said they will wait 6 or more months and then decide.There were also 7 percent of citizens who said they will not take the vaccine at all, while 7 percent didn't say anything.