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Vaccination drive gains pace despite portal malfunction

Due to glitches in Co-Win portal, centres resort to manual entries

January 21, 2021 06:40 pm | Updated 06:40 pm IST - Tiruchi

The registration room where verification of beneficiaries is done before vaccination at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchi on Thursday.

The registration room where verification of beneficiaries is done before vaccination at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchi on Thursday.

While doctors and other healthcare workers have begun to take part in the vaccination drive to fight against COVID-19, glitches continued in the Co-Win portal developed to facilitate the process.

As the drive was affected due to persistent lag in the portal, vaccination centres have resorted to making manual entries.

“At the Tiruchi Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, the number of persons who volunteered to get a shot of the vaccination is gradually increasing”, K. Vanitha, Dean told The Hindu . “The initial hesitation is disappearing and many, including our house surgeons, healthcare workers of private hospitals in the city, are coming to get vaccinated. The awareness on the importance of the vaccine as a weapon to fight against COVID-19 is also increasing,” she said.

While on the first few days the data entry operators and vaccination officers who underwent training for the process were flustered due to the lack of response from the Co-Win portal, they have now resorted to making manual entries. “The vaccination has to go on. We cannot send someone back because the portal is malfunctioning,” a doctor in-charge at the venue said.

Through the portal, healthcare workers were to register ahead of the day of vaccination. A senior health official said there was a heavy load on the portal’s servers as many vaccination centres across the country were trying to enter data at the same time.

Despite the glitches, inoculation work has been streamlined at the centres, officials said. At the Tiruchi MGMGH, two separate registration desks - one for Covishield and one for Covaxin have now been set up so that a health worker can approach them and register their details. In the case of Covaxin, an additional number of steps, including the signing of a consent form is required before a dose is injected.

A station to check the patients' vitals, including blood pressure and blood oxygen level, has also been set up in the same room. After that the beneficiary is led to a chamber where two nurses provide the vaccination. Two dedicated chambers, one for Covishield and one for Covaxin have been set up. “Work is going on without the portal, the authorities should have tested it during the dry run held across the country,” the doctor said. With the help of house surgeons, they would attempt to make entries on the portal at the end of the day.

“The work has all been streamlined now, as we have gained some experience. Within a week, the demand for the vaccine will also increase and we are prepared for it,” Dr. Vanitha said.

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