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Govt to stop COVID-19 vaccine drive for two days as CoWin app gets upgrade; self-registration to be allowed

India's COVID-19 immunisation drive will be halted temporarily on February 27 and February 28, as the CoWIN application — the backbone of the government's COVID19 immunisation effort — gets upgraded from version 1.0 to 2.0, the Health Ministry announced. The upgraded application will presumably be open for registrations from Monday (March 1). The CoWIN app has seen several glitches over the past month, which has hindered the immunisation process in several cities (more on that below). As part of the upgrade, the CoWIN portal will be open to registration to all those above 60 years of age, and to those above 45 with co-morbidities. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to self-register themselves on the upgraded CowIN as well as Aarogya Setu, which was integrated with CoWIN functionalities earlier this month, the Ministry announced on Friday. It will also allow beneficiaries to choose their vaccination centre. Ability to choose vaccination centre, timeslot: People registering themselves on CoWIN will be able to choose their own vaccination centre — both public and private (which will now be involved in the immunisation effort). "[T]he fundamental shift in this phase is that citizens in the identified age groups, as also those healthcare workers and frontline who have been missed out or left out of the present phase of vaccination, can select vaccination centres of their choice" — Health Ministry press release (emphasis added) During self-registration by beneficiaries, they will get a list of government and private hospitals serving as COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVC) along with date and time of slot availability…

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