The central government has allowed states to start offline registration for vaccination of 18-44 years age group under certain conditions.
Union health ministry on May 24 stated that on-site registration and appointment is now being enabled for 18-44 years age group on CoWIN. The ministry said that this was done to reduce vaccine wastage as some people are not turning up after booking slots online. Also, it is being done to reduce the digital divide.
However, the ministry stated that the offline registration for COVID-19 vaccine will be enable in only government COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs) and all private centres will have to follow the current online slot booking process.
Also, the ministry said that the feature will be used only upon decision of the respective state/UT governments. “State/UT must decide on opening of on-site registrations/facilitated cohorts’ registration and appointments for 18-44 years age group based on the local context just as an additional measure to minimize vaccine wastage and for facilitating vaccination of eligible beneficiaries in the age group 18-44 years,” a PIB release stated.
The decision was taken based on various representations given by the states and inputs received by Union health ministry for the vaccination of 18-44 years age group.
“The Union health ministry has advised the states and UTs to issue clear instructions to all district immunization officers to strictly adhere to decision of respective state/UT government regarding the extent and manner of using the on-site registration and appointment feature for 18 to 44 years age group,” the release stated.
“Fully reserved sessions can also be organized for providing vaccination services to the beneficiaries belonging to facilitated cohorts. Wherever such fully reserved sessions are organized, all efforts must also be made to mobilize such beneficiaries in sufficient numbers,” it added.
The Union health ministry has further advised states/UTs that abundant caution should be exercised and extreme due care should be taken while opening up of on-site registration and appointment for 18-44 years age group, in order to avoid overcrowding at vaccination centres.