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COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Centre clears 91 applications, including from Paytm, MakeMyTrip, to offer vaccine bookings

In May, the central government released new guidelines for the integration of tCoWIN with third-party applications, easing the way for such apps to offer Covid-19 vaccine bookings

June 14, 2021 / 01:16 PM IST
India has been ramping up vaccination to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. (Representative image: Reuters)

India has been ramping up vaccination to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. (Representative image: Reuters)

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Over 91 applications, including 10 from state governments and large digital companies like Paytm and MakeMyTrip, cleared for offering bookings of COVID-19 vaccine, said CoWIN head RS Sharma.

“Accepted 91 out of 125 applications, inclusive of 10 government applications to offer vaccine bookings,” Sharma told CNBC-TV18.

According to Sharma, entities applied for offering vaccine bookings include Paytm, MakeMyTrip, IndiGo, Dr Reddy's, Max Healthcare among others.

The developments came after the release of the central government’s new guidelines in May for the integration of CoWIN with third-party applications, easing the way for such apps to offer vaccine bookings.

Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the novel coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Earlier, when asked about offering coronavirus vaccine bookings on its platform, MakeMyTrip Group CEO Rajesh Magow said that “with millions already using the app, we want to leverage the API integration to help people easily book their vaccination slots and do our bit to make the entire process more convenient.”

Over the past months, giants like Facebook and Google to startups such as HealthifyMe have introduced a slew of tools to help people find slots for vaccination appointments. Platforms like Under45 and GetJab also became popular overnight as they alerted users when vaccine slots opened up and then directed them to the CoWIN platform to secure an appointment.

India has been ramping up vaccination to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre has been undertaking vaccinations in a phased manner, starting with those over 60 years, then for those over 45 years and most recently, for those aged between 18-44 years.

The country has so far administered over 25.48 crore jabs to eligible beneficiaries.

The government has announced a new update that enables an applicant to correct any inadvertent errors in name, year of birth and gender printed on the CoWIN vaccination certificate. Users can make the correction through the CoWIN website, said the government on June 9.

After the provision for rectification was made available, two lakh people have been able to make corrections in their vaccine certificates, Sharma told the new channel.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
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first published: Jun 14, 2021 01:16 pm