Several among the 243 vaccine session sites faced difficulties in operating the COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) application, resulting in the State achieving lesser than the targeted numbers. Only 62% (13,408) of the targeted 21,658 healthcare workers took the jab till 4 p.m.
Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar attributed the low numbers to several reasons, including technical glitches.
“On the first day, many who had co-morbidities and were on the list have not been inoculated. Besides, the vaccination started around 11 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. and closed by 5 p.m. We are hoping the numbers will go up from Monday.”
On technical glitches, the Minister told The Hindu , “There were just some teething problems and will be resolved from Monday onwards. Achieving nearly 62% on day for a new vaccine is definitely a good start.”
Health workers in various vaccine sites said they faced problems while uploading data on the app about beneficiaries receiving the vaccine, as the application had slowed down. Due to these glitches, the beneficiary verification process and OTP generation got delayed making it inevitable for the staff at several sites to take up offline verification. The application has been developed by the Centre to monitor and track the inoculation process.
“The app had slowed down since Friday. Not all messages were going to health workers who were supposed to receive the vaccine on Saturday morning. The beneficiaries were individually called up and informed over the phone,” said B.R. Venkateshaiah, Medical Superintendent of K.C. General hospital. He said the entire verification was done offline on Saturday.
PMSSY Special Officer P.G. Girish said, “This could be probably because the application was being used across the country at the same time.”
A senior Bengaluru civic official said that almost all vaccination centres reported issues with online real-time verification. Later in the evening, updates on who all were vaccinated were uploaded to the portal, the official said.
“On Saturday, only 3 lakh beneficiaries were targeted to be vaccinated across the country. If Co-WIN portal cannot handle this load, it will multiply manifold from Monday, and it is unlikely that the portal will be helpful for verification of beneficiary credentials. We have decided to take it offline, do it manually and later update it on the portal,” the official pointed out.
Inoculation began at the vaccine sites as soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive nationally through video conferencing.