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CoWin app has features like Aadhaar, 24x7 helpline, DigiLocker: New details on COVID-19 vaccination

The DCGI has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and indigenously-developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in India.

January 06, 2021 / 10:45 AM IST
The DCGI has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in India.

The DCGI has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in India.

As the government is moving closer to begin the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Union Health Ministry has released a slew of features for its CoWIN app, including Aadhaar and SMS confirming vaccination in at least 12 languages.

Short for COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network, the CoWIN app and its ecosystem will be used to manage and scale up the massive vaccination drive in the country.

At a press briefing on January 5, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said healthcare and frontline workers need not register themselves for the vaccination drive as their database has been uploaded on the CoWIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk. The provision of registration and editing of data would arise while immunising the population priority group, he said.

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The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on January 3 approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. The drug regulator’s approval has paved the way for a massive inoculation drive. For the vaccination process, the Centre has brought in the CoWIN app.

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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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Here are some new features of CoWIN app:

> CoWIN will give permission to create a Unique Health ID for every user.

> After administration of both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, a QR code certificate will be generated which can be stored on the government's DigiLocker app.

> The app will provide an automated allocation of vaccination sessions. One of the authentication methods would be the use of the Aadhaar number to prevent malpractice in the vaccination drive, reported NDTV.

Also read | CoWIN app: Where to register for COVID-19 vaccine in India

> In case of any adverse effect following immunisation, there is a provision for real-time reporting on the digital platform.

> The app includes features like SMS in 12 languages, 24X7 helpline, ChatBot assistance and others.

Also read | India's COVID-19 vaccine: Who'll get it, when and how - All you need to know

> As of now, more than 90,000 users have been trained in more than 700 districts.

> COWIN Vaccination Management System, which is made in India for the world, is a public health good, the health secretary said. The Government of India will proactively help the countries who may want to use it, he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 6, 2021 10:45 am

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