The government may have officially opened up the COVID19 vaccination program to people in the 18-45 age group, but that doesn't mean everyone can get a vaccine. Very few appointment slots have been opened for this age group; states such as Telangana are yet to even officially begin vaccinations for this group. This scarcity has led multiple developers to macgyver piecemeal solutions in the form of apps, websites and scripts to help the tech-savvy grab all slots minutes after they are opened. All these third-party services leverage the recently opened up CoWIN Application Programme Interfaces (APIs). They allow users to search for open slots according to district and/or pin code. But where they really outdo the official government portal is in allowing users to register for alerts through email, Telegram and Twitter when slots open up in their desired area. What is wrong with the official portal? Ever since the government opened the vaccine registration for those between 18-45 years, many have had issues booking an appointment on the CoWIN portal. The website crashed for a few minutes and was later restored, but other bugs continued to exist. And even without these bugs, vaccination slots are hard to come by given the shortage of doses across the country. Most in the age group are still unable to find slots. Adding to these woes, the CoWIN portal has the following obstacles, which third-party developers are trying to address: Users have to go through the cumbersome process of logging in with an OTP each…
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