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Co-Win problems, miscommunication derail vaccination drive in Bengaluru

A total of 938 people above the age of 60 were vaccinated in the city on Monday
Last Updated : 02 March 2021, 11:10 IST
Last Updated : 02 March 2021, 11:10 IST
Last Updated : 02 March 2021, 11:10 IST
Last Updated : 02 March 2021, 11:10 IST

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An overloaded Co-Win vaccine portal and a breakdown in communications which prevented hundreds of vials of vaccines from being delivered to hospitals are some of the issues which plagued the inaugural day of the Phase III vaccination drive for the elderly and people with comorbidities on Monday.

According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), a total of 938 people above the age of 60 were vaccinated in the city on Monday, but this number is only a fraction of the nearly 3,600 people who had signed up for vaccination on the Co-Win portal, a BBMP source said.

Rajendra Cholan, Special Commissioner (Health), BBMP, explained that out of the 22 sites selected to carry out vaccinations on Monday, 18 sites managed to attain some operability. "There was the problem with the remaining four," he said. These are: two Columbia Asia hospitals, C V Rama Hospital, Apollo Bommanahalli. Victoria Hospital, which is also an empanelled hospital, was not in the list. Each site has a target of 200 vaccinations per day.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad clarified 12 software issues which affected sites on Monday: in the vaccinator module, the list of beneficiaries not being visible; beneficiaries disappearing from the admin portal and inability of staff to mark beneficiaries as vaccinated; staff being unable to login into the vaccinator module; messy and overlapping timings scheduled for sessions; inability of staff to tag already registered vaccinator (supervisor plus vaccinator) to the present site as vaccinator; problems in adding vials option; a cumbersome interface which made searching for session sites in over 60 sheets cumbersome.

Also, the portal made it difficult for staff to show the addition of a new vaccinator into the portal; already registered beneficiary names not reflecting and if reflected, problems in validating them with the same registered phone number. Lastly, vaccinator names were not reflecting in the portal as it had in the previous Co-Win portal.

"The issues have been flagged to the state government," Prasad said.

According to Dr Thrilok Chandra, Commissioner, Department of Health and Family Welfare, the issue was largely limited to Bengaluru Urban, although he clarified that it had also hit five other sites in other parts of the state. "We are holding another training session at 9 am tomorrow morning to weed out the problems which surfaced today," Dr Thrilok told DH.

No vaccine shortage

Several affected hospitals, such as C V Raman Hospital also reported that in addition to the Co-Win problem, they did not receive vaccine vials. "There is no shortage of vaccines, let me assure you. The vials were supplied to the BBMP but due to some miscommunication, they were not transferred to the hospitals," a government official said.

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Published 01 March 2021, 17:13 IST

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