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Covid-19 vaccination slots can soon be bookedthrough third-party apps

The government has rolled out new guidelines for CoWinó the platform being used to register for COVID-19 vaccination slotsó to allow third party apps to enable registration, scheduling, and management of vaccination

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | May 27, 2021 | Updated 14:51 IST

Highlights

  • Soon users will be able to book slots directly using third party apps.
  • The government has rolled out new guidelines for CoWin to allow third party apps to enable registration.
  • All the third-party apps to planning integrate with Co-WIN using APIs will first have to register as ASPs.

Struggling to book a COVID-19 vaccination slot? Soon users will be able to book slots directly using third party apps. The government has rolled out new guidelines for CoWinó the platform being used to register for COVID-19 vaccination slotsó to allow third party apps to enable registration, scheduling, and management of vaccination through their apps. Earlier, the booking was only possible through the CoWin app or Aaorgya Setu app, the third party apps were allowed to display information about the availability of slots.

As per the new guidelines by the government spotted by Ivan Mehta, the government has provided an API based access to Co-WIN for third-party software applications to provide a variety of value-added services directly to the beneficiary or enable empanelled COVID Vaccination Centres (CVC) to offer enhanced services to their users. The guidelines stated that the third party apps can be offered directly to citizens to find vaccination centres around them, schedule appointments, generate or COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

"Co-WIN API Services can be offered to ASPs, who intend to or are providing COVID vaccination-related services and are registered for operations in India. Using the service, the approved organizations can avail the whitelisted data elements from Co-WIN in real-time. The ASPs can integrate the APIs with their applications to extend the quality and reach of their initiative," the guidelines read.

Before the government announced the new guidelines for CoWin, the only apps that were used to register and book vaccination slots were Aarogya Setu and Umang, both the apps are owned by the government. Apps like Paytm, HealthifyMe had recently started displaying the names of COVID vaccination centres.The payments' app had recently launched a COVID-19 vaccine finder on its mini-app store.

All the third-party apps to planning integrate with Co-WIN using APIs will first have to register as ASPs. To do that the developers of organisations can send a request to partners@cowin.gov.in. They should also undertake a prescribed integration and testing process with the Co-WIN APIs. "Only after a successful testing cycle is completed and demonstrated to a competent authority, will the ASP system administrators be provided with production-level API keys for their Application. All API keys will be managed through Co-WIN's API console," the guidelines stated.

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