Even as India expanded the COVID-19 vaccination drive to include senior citizens and those above age 45 with co-morbidities on March 1, only 8 per cent of the respondents of a countrywide survey had glitch-free access to online registration through Co-Win platform. Ninety two per cent of those who tried to register for vaccination via CO-WIN app had some difficulty or other, according to LocalCircles, the community social media platform which conducted the survey. The most common complaint which 50 per cent of the respondents said was that the "OTP/SMS registration didn't work". Another 29 per cent said the "registration worked but no appointments were showing". 13 per cent of respondents said they failed to access the app.
Despite the glitches, the survey points to a reduction in the hesitancy people had in administering the vaccine. Asked to express their willingness to take the vaccine, 40 per cent said they were willing to take it as soon as it is made available. While 7 per cent said they "have taken one or both the doses already", 17 per cent said they "will be taking the vaccine very soon". However, 15 per cent of the respondents said they "will wait up to 3 months", and 7 per cent wanted to "wait for 6 or more months to decide whether to take it or not. There were also 7 per cent of citizens who said they "will not take it at all". The findings of the poll suggest that the vaccine hesitancy which remained very high in the earlier surveys done by the same platform now drops to 36 per cent.
The survey received over 14,000 responses from people located in 221 districts of India.
LocalCircles says the worrying factor revealed in the survey is that of glitches being reported on Co-WIN website and mobile application at the time of registration to avail of the vaccine for the qualified members. "As indicated by the poll, 92 per cent of those who tried to get the COVID-19 vaccine appointment on CO-WINsite or app could not do so. Although registration for 29 per cent of citizens worked but could not fix any appointments. Citizens have cited these issues with CO-WIN website or application as major deterrent to avail of the facility and some have compared it to IRCTC Tatkal Ticket booking in its early days", the platform said.
LocalCircles has raised the issue to the CEO, National Health Authority, the nodal body for the CO-WIN site, app and the vaccine registration process.