The CoWIN system is set to introduce the '4-digit security code' feature on the CoWIN app from May 8. The feature has been introduced to determine whether the beneficiaries who had booked an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine actually received the dose or not.
The Union Health Ministry had stated that it had received reports of instances in which people had booked an appointment for the vaccine and they didn't show up to receive the dose. The CoWIN system had incorrectly marked these people as having received the vaccine, These individuals got an SMS saying that the vaccine was administered to them.
The ministry added that upon examination it was found that the error was largely caused by vaccinator incorrectly recording individuals as vaccinated even though they had not actually received the vaccine. In order to minimise this error, the Health Ministry has introduced the '4 digit security code' on the CoWIN app.
How will the '4-digit security code' feature work?
This new feature will be applicable only to citizens who have done an online booking for a vaccination slot. The 4-digit security code will be printed in the appointment acknowledgement slip and will not be known to the vaccinator. The four-digit code will also be sent in the confirmation SMS to the beneficiary after successful booking of the appointment.
At the vaccination centres, the verifier/vaccinator will ask the beneficiary for his/her 4-digit security code. The verifier/vaccinator will then enter the 4 digit security code into the Cowin system to record that the beneficiary had been vaccinated.
The '4-digit security code' feature will ensure that data entries regarding the vaccination status of a citizen, are recorded correctly. It will also ensure that those who book online appointments avail the services of centre where they had booked the appointment and not anywhere else.
This will also reduce the opportunities of impersonation and wrongful use of flexibilities provided in CoWIN for facilitating vaccination coverage, noted a Union Health Ministry press release.
Union Health Ministry had issued the following advisory for citizens:
- It is advised that the citizens must carry a copy (digital or physical) of their appointment slip and/or the registered mobile phone with appointment confirmation SMS, so that the 4-digit security code can be furnished for easy completion of vaccination recording process.
- It is also advised that the security code may be furnished to verifier/vaccinator before the vaccine dose has been administered. This is important as the digital certificate would be generated after the vaccine dose administration.
- Citizen must provide the security code to the vaccinator as the digital certificate will be generated only after the vaccination record has been updated with the security code.
- Citizen should get a confirmation SMS after the process has been successfully completed. The confirmation SMS indicates that the vaccination process has been completed successfully and the digital certificate has been generated. If one does not get the confirmation SMS, one should get in touch with the vaccinator/ vaccination center in-charge.
(Edited by Mohammad Haaris Beg)