Co-WIN under Heavy Load of Covid Vax Registrations; No Vaccine Appointment for above 18 Years
Proving all tech experts right, the Co-WIN a platform used by Central government for registration of COVID-19 vaccine and booking appointments, crashed as soon as it started registrations for those above 18 years. Further, for all those who are registering, the platform failed to show any vaccine centre for booking an appointment for vaccination in some states. The same was the case with Aarogya Setu and Umang mobile apps that can be used for COVIDvaccination. Both the apps also faced several issues while registering new users. After initial glitches, Co-WIN, Aarogya Setu and Umang allowed new registrations but booking an appointment for the vaccine was not allowed for those above 18 years.
 
In a tweet, Aarogya Setu says, more than 3.5 million people registered in the first hour after launch of 18+ registration on the portal http://cowin.gov.in and appointments for 18-44 years will be available when state governments and private vaccination centres schedule these sessions.
 
 
On 19 April 2021, the Central government has decided to allow everyone above 18 years to take the vaccine or coronavirus (COVID-19). 
 
The government has already clarified that there will be no walk-in allowed for beneficiaries in the third phase. "Only self-registration and advance appointments for people between 18 to 45 years of age. No walk in allowed," it had said.
 
 
However, there simply are no vaccine centres available nearby for booking an appointment. Especially when checked for some cities of Maharashtra, the portal says, "No vaccination centre is available for booking." Some can see vaccine centre available at far away places from their residences. 
 
 
 
 
The slot booking page from the Co-WIN portal says, "Appointment for age 18 to 44 is based on slots made available by the private vaccination centres as well as the respective state government. If slots are not currently available, it will be opened soon. Please check again in sometime. We regret the inconvenience."
 
Many new registrants complained about not receiving the one-time passcode (OTP) for login to the Co-WIN portal. 
 
The same is the case with Aarogya Setu and Umang apps and new registrants are unable to register and find any vaccine centre listed there. 
 
 
Vaccination slots, however, are available for those above 45 years till 1st May. For example, when checked last, there was one slot available at Cooper Hospital in Mumbai. However, many vaccine centres remain closed due to non-availability of COVID vaccines.
 
 
Tech expert Srinivas Kodali has been warning about the possible load and subsequent crashing of Co-WIN portal and platform. "Why do you need a centralised software system like Co-WIN to get vaccinated, why should centre allot slots, why can't there be a more distributed architecture for information systems?" he asks.
 
 
He further says, let states handle how to distribute vaccines, and stop forcing centralised software systems. "There is no need to use Co-WIN for a billion people. Think rationally and de-centralise. Decentralise governance, information systems and de-centralise distribution," he says.
 
Anivar Aravind, a public interest technologist, says, "The Current Co-WIN registration for 18-45 is just user acquisitions to put pressure on states for immediate purchase. Centre's job is not registration, it is ensuring availability. You spend money, we own your data is the vaccine policy now."
 
 
In a tweet, Aarogya Setu accepted that there was a minor glitch at 4pm with the Co-WIN that is fixed.
 
"You can either accept this is how software works in cases like Co-WIN, Aadhaar, Aarogya Setu or you can question who designs it, who codes it, who forces it. There are no short cuts to improving information systems inside government. Public participation is how things improve," Mr Kodali summarises the issue.
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    COMMENTS

    yerramr

    2 weeks ago

    Co-Win looks a co-loss. Fifteen days back I and my wife had second dose of vaccine and we wanted to download the certificate via Arogyasetu -Co-Win. It was just impossible. Wasted a couple of hours and gave up.

    tillan2k

    2 weeks ago

    when u want to centralize every thing crash is bound to take place . Over production of Indians has resulted in India crashing all other crashes are bound to follow

    vinayc

    2 weeks ago

    Not sure how decentralizing would solve the problem... it would requires states to have infrastructure and skills/people to host & support co-win (or similar app). Many times, it would be far more simpler to augment infrastructure at central place to scale for load.

    Slot unavailability is due to supply chain problems (vaccine unavailability). Both central and state governments has not bothered to secure enough supply with enough vendors before opening up vaccinations. Clearly Central Government didn't anticipated the scale of second wave and didn't plan for bigger vaccination drive. And state governments didn't bother to secure vaccine supply before making promises to population and asking center to widen vaccination drive.

    REPLY

    tillan2k

    In Reply to vinayc 2 weeks ago

    we have politically certified public experts their opinions are valuable

    jayantkothari

    2 weeks ago

    Srinivas Kodali: Sir, what you described reflects only the half story or server side but silent on the other half which is client side, internet access, bandwidth and myriad of devices people us e to access web sites. In general static contents over internet do not pose difficulties but dynamic contents such as vaccination registration have many hurdles to overcome in order to give satisfactory service. Like any interactive data intensive app Co-win also has shortcomings as well as benefits, how did 80 Lakh+ users could register in few hours ? So the issue is bigger than centralized vs. decentralized system.

    bkochar1506

    2 weeks ago

    The registration data will definitely be of great value to the state governments in allocating the vaccines they procure between cities and districts.

    vaisloorkar

    2 weeks ago

    This portal needs to be celebrated, not berated with the usual self flaggelating rant. It has raked in close to 80 lakhs registrations today evening. Appointments are not available not because of deficient portal but vaccine availability mismatch.

    Kudos to the CoWin team!

    REPLY

    avinash.munde

    In Reply to vaisloorkar 2 weeks ago

    I am working in government....I know how government works...Simple example of my department.....civil and mechanical engineering staffs are handling IT section of whole department......For IT people , they have given other than IT people.....

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