The Drug Control General of India (DCGI) has officially approved two COVID-19 vaccines as of now, both permitted for emergency use only. The vaccines will be supplied by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. The Centre has been in the talks of developing an app to ensure a smooth rollout of the same. The CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work) app will track and monitor the distribution of the vaccines and will scale up the process as and when required. On December 23, 2020, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced a challenge worth Rs 40 lakhs to strengthen the COWIN network in the country. Here’s what you need to know about the CoWIN app.
The CoWIN app is still in its pre-product stage with only health officials’ data stored in it as of now. That is because they are the first in line to get the vaccine and over 75 lakh officials’ have already registered on it. This will be followed by registration of people over 50 years of age due to their higher susceptibility to the virus.
If you open Google or any other App store, chances are you will find a few knockoffs of the CoWIN app. Know that CoWIN is not a functional app yet and it’s advised not to download any app until the CoWIN app release date is confirmed, which in this case, isn’t. Since CoWIN involves having to share your personal data, hackers have visibly jumped at the opportunity of possible financial and identity fraud.
The Ministry of Health cautioned netizens on the same in a tweet on January 6, 2021. The tweet read, “Some apps named ‘#CoWIN’ apparently created by unscrupulous elements to sound similar to upcoming official platform of Government, are on App stores. DO NOT download or share personal information on these. #MoHFW Official platform will be adequately publicised on its launch.”
Some apps named "#CoWIN" apparently created by unscrupulous elements to sound similar to upcoming official platform of Government, are on Appstores.— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) January 6, 2021
DO NOT download or share personal information on these. #MoHFW Official platform will be adequately publicised on its launch.
The app is said to have an assorted number of modules, like Administrator Modules for bulk registration, vaccination module for verification of details, self-registration, updates on the vaccine status, vaccination certificate, among many others. To register on the app, the user will have to upload their photo identity, which includes Aadhaar Card, Driving License or a PAN card. The COWIN app will be available on all the app stores soon.