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Private companies start offering vaccination slot booking facility, Paytm first to launch service

Paytm on Monday announced that it is now allowing Covid 19 vaccination slot bookings directly on its app. The government has so far accepted applications of 81 private companies that want to offer vaccination slot booking services, RS Sharma, CEO of the National Health Authority, told CNBC TV18. Until now, third-party apps and services could help citizens find open slots based on pincode or district, but appointments could only be booked on government-run platforms like CoWIN, Aarogya Setu, and Umang. “The total applications thus far is 125. We have accepted 91 applications which include 10 governments and 81 private applications like Paytm, MakeMyTrip, Dr. Reddy Laboratories, Max Healthcare, ICICI Lombard, Infosys, Apollo Hospitals, state governments of Kerala, UP, Karnataka, and WestBengal, ISRO, IIT Bombay, etc. They are at an advanced stage and it is a matter of days when they will start operating.” - RS Sharma to CNBC TV18 "It is our endeavour to help India come out of this pandemic a lot stronger. Our vaccine finder will help citizens seamlessly book slots at the nearest centre and get vaccinated," a Paytm spokesperson told MediaNama. Why are private players enabling vaccine booking features? 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. While the government has smoothed out a lot of these issues, the CoWIN portal still has the following…

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