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Use Aadhaar to identify, track COVID vaccine beneficiaries: Health Ministry to states, UTs

Aadhaar, surveillance
Credit: Trisha Jalan

The Health Ministry has told states and union territories to use Aadhaar identify and track beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. In a review meeting with state health secretaries and other senior officials, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that there is a need to create "Immutable Vaccination Event Records (IVER)" to track possible adverse events after administering the vaccine, and Aadhaar was the "most reliable authentication" mechanism to identify beneficiaries. "Since use of Aadhar for verification provides a most reliable authentication of beneficiaries, Aadhar based authentication must be the preferred mode of verification of beneficiaries prior to the vaccination." — Rajesh Bhushan, Health Secretary Bhushan's directions to states come even as the government continues to claim that Aadhaar is not mandatory for vaccine beneficiaries. RS Sharma, chair of the Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19, had earlier told Business Line that while Aadhaar — by being a "clean database of people" — was helpful in weeding fraudulent beneficiaries, it is not compulsory. 'CoWIN glitches sorted': Bhushan, meanwhile, claimed that all technical glitches on the CoWIN app, the backbone of the countrywide vaccination drive, have been resolved. He told officials that the CoWIN software interface provides for authentication of beneficiaries through Aadhaar, and urged them ensure that vaccinators are "sensitized to do proper authentication of beneficiaries". Compliance of authentication is to be monitored at the district and state level by respective task forces. It is important to note that the government doesn't seem to have a plan for…

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