Coronavirus vaccine registration for all citizens aged above 18 opened up last evening on Wednesday, and after some server crashes and glitches, the CoWIN portal registered over 1.32 crore people. More than 35 lakh people registered in the first hour after launch on the Cowin.gov.in portal. Appointments for people aged 18-44 will be available when State Governments and private vaccination centres schedule sessions, the Centre said. India began the vaccination process on January 1, starting with health and frontline workers. The second phase began on March 1 wherein all users above the age of 45 were allowed to take the vaccine with conditions.
Starting May 1, all citizens aged above 18 are eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine in India. This is part of the government’s more ‘liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination’, due to rising number of cases in the country. The registration process began 4pm on Saturday, April 28, and government announced (via the official Aarogya Setu account) that over 1.32 crore people registered in just one day. There were some initial glitches, probably because the portal was handling more than 50,000 API calls per second. The Aarogya Setu handle also tweeted that more than 35 lakhs people registered in the first hour after launch of 18 plus registration on http://cowin.gov.in.
While registrations were possible, even after the glitches and slow servers, appointments are still not available for those in the 18-44 age group. The Aarogya Setu Twitter account says that “Appointments for 18-44 will be available when State Governments and Private Vaccination Centers schedule vaccination sessions.”
In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that all citizens in the age group 18-44 will be vaccinated for free. Currently, there are two vaccines being circulated in India, Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Sputnik V vaccines are coming in a few weeks, and the government has fast-tracked approvals for other foreign vaccines.
As of April 29, Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 63,309. It is followed by Karnataka with 39,047 while Kerala reported 35,013 new cases. Ten States including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan report 72.20 percent of the new cases. A total of 3,79,257 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. The national mortality rate has been falling and currently stands at 1.11 percent.
To register for the vaccine, users can head to the CoWIN portal, Aarogya Setu app, or Umang app. Users will need to register by filling in their phone number and OTP. The government requires a valid Indian ID proof. This can be your driving licence, PAN card, passport, pension passbook, Aadhaar card, NPR smart card, or voter ID card (e-elector photo identity card).