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Registration on CoWin for vaccination of 18+ delayed, to begin from 4 pm

The registration for Covid-19 vaccine of those between 18-45 years on CoWin portal which was supposed to start from April 28 midnight, has been delayed and will now instead begin from 4 pm on Wednesday.

The official Twitter account of Aarogya Setu in a tweet announced at 7.50 am that, “Registration for 18 plus to begin on cowin.gov.in, Aarogya Setu App & UMANG App at 4 PM on 28th April. Appointments at State Govt centers & Private centers depending on how many vaccination centers are ready on 1st May for Vaccination of 18 plus. #LargestVaccineDrive.”

This announcement came from an official platform after nearly 8 hours from the initial commencement time. Although the delay was mentioned on the Telegram account of ‘MyGov Corona Newsdesk’ at 6.49 pm on Tuesday it was largely missed by many.

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Curiously, even as the Telegram page of MyGov updated on Tuesday evening that registration drive has been delayed, its Twitter counterpart at the same time posted a tweet saying that the vaccination drive will begin from April 28 midnight.

The tweet posted around  9 pm on Tuesday and which has now been deleted had said, “All citizens aged 18+ will be eligible for vaccination under Phase 3 of the world’ #LargestVaccineDrive starting MAy 1, 2021. Registration will start from 00.00 on 28 April 2021 via the #CoWIN platform and Aarogya Setu app.”

Devoid of any official communication, lakhs of users tried registering on the CoWin portal from the intervening midnight of Tuesday and Wednesday in futile. On the portal, citizens are asked to enter their phone number. Upon receiving an OTP, the page directs to a verification page wherein, one needs to put in their identification documents, year of birth and so on.

When those between the age of 18-45 put in their year of birth, the CoWin portal threw an error message saying: “Registration is open only for individuals with age 45 years or older (birth year 1976 or earlier).” The attached screenshot below is from 12.59 am on Wednesday.

Lack of communication fuels panic

The lack of official communication from the government regarding the delay irked scores of citizens who were under the impression that the registration will begin from 12 am. The instead registered their dissatisfaction with the government on Twitter.

This lack of communication from the side of the Central government in regards to the vaccination drive, is not new. Earlier in March, after speculation that the Cowin App will be available for citizens for registering for vaccination, the Central government announced that app was made only for administrators. The Health ministry waited till the day the COVID-19 vaccine was being made available to people over 60 and 45 (those with co-morbidities), to make this clarification.

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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