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CoWIN dashboard added to Aarogya Setu, vaccine registrations ‘coming soon’

Aarogya Setu, ministry of health, contact tracing, app

*Update (7:42 PM, February 8):

Vaccination certificates will be generated on the CoWIN platform, and Aarogya Setu will only allow users to download them, Abhishek Singh, CEO of MyGov confirmed to MediaNama via email. We had asked Singh how the integration of CoWIN into Aarogya Setu would work, and where the vaccine certificates will be stored:

“Vaccination certificates will be generated by COWIN platform and Aarogya Setu will only enable authenticated users to download their own vaccination certificates. Aarogya Setu will not store any certificates” — Abhishek Singh, CEO, MyGov (emphasis added)

Singh also confirmed that people will get to choose between Aarogya Setu and CoWIN to register for vaccine doses. Hence, the integration of both apps will have no effect on the opening up of CoWIN to the general public for registrations.

“CoWIN registrations for general public will be as per the schedule to be decided by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. As per the policy, health workers and front line workers are getting the vaccines first,” he said.

Earlier: The Indian government has integrated the CoWIN vaccination system with Aarogya Setu, the contact tracing app launched at the start of the pandemic. Beneficiaries of the vaccine can download their “Vaccination Certificates” on the Aarogya Setu app. Per a tweet from the app’s official handle, Aarogya Setu will soon allow beneficiaries to register for the vaccine.

 

The CoWIN system, built around the eponymous app, is the backbone of the countrywide vaccination drive. Short for “COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network”, the app will use an Aadhaar-based system to authenticate beneficiaries. While the government has said that Aadhaar is not mandatory, the government yet doesn’t seem to have a plan for vaccinating the general public without using the identification document. RS Sharma, chair of the Empowered Group on COVID-19 had said that the number of people without Aadhaar is very small, and that “we will cross that bridge when we come to it”.

The CoWIN app, according to information provided by the government so far, is supposed to have a system for the automated generation of vaccination certificates: post a dose, a QR-code digital certificate would get generated and stored on DigiLocker, the government-built cloud storage service.

Two apps to support registrations? Currently, CoWIN is not open to the general public, and is only being used by officials working on the immunisation effort. However, officials have said that the app will me made open to the general public in a month’s time, when people over 50 will be able to register themselves on it. Presumably, other demographics would be allowed to register the same way as the months progress.

Meanwhile, Aarogya Setu (originally built for the singular purpose of contact sharing) is also set to start supporting vaccination registrations. The registrations will likely happen through the CoWIN “dashboard” on the Aarogya Setu app, where users will be lead to CoWIN functionality, however, there has been no official statement yet.

We have reached out to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and MyGov for more information on how the integration between the two apps will work. We will update this post if we receive a response.

Also read:

***Update (7:42 PM, February 8): Updated post with response from Abhishek Singh, CEO of MyGov. Originally published at 5:20 PM, February 8.

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