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KMC WhatsApp chatbot for vaccination crosses 75,000 bookings

The WhatsApp API based helpline was launched as a free to use service for citizens of Kolkata.

June 12, 2021 / 01:09 PM IST
The WhatsApp API based helpline was launched as a free to use service for citizens of Kolkata.

The WhatsApp API based helpline was launched as a free to use service for citizens of Kolkata.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation's WhatsApp chatbot for vaccination registration and slot booking has crossed the 75,000 plus appointment bookings since its launch on May 15, a senior official said.

The WhatsApp API based helpline was launched as a free to use service for citizens of Kolkata.

"The number of vaccine booking on WhatsApp bot crosses 75,000 and usage is growing," a senior state e-Governance official said.

Drive-In Vaccination was also introduced through this WhatsApp Bot to felicitate vaccination in four-wheelers only, helping many aged and ailing citizens.

After a successful vaccination drive for the second dose, the slots were opened for first dose vaccination for 45 plus. The chatbot has helped smoothen the vaccine appointment booking process and reduced waiting time for citizens at vaccination centres.

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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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The bot has zero manual intervention to get a jab slot.
PTI

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