Hyderabad: The chairman of Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19, Ram Sewak Sharma, on 10 January said that there cannot be any proxies for Aadhar authentication for the vaccination.

He critically highlighted the caution one needs to exercise to ensure that there are 'no proxies' at all; the beneficiaries need to be uniquely and undeniably identified, he strongly reiterated. Speaking on the use of Aadhar platform, he advised the states to urge the beneficiaries to send their current mobile number with Aadhar for registration and consequent communication through SMS. There cannot be any proxies for Aadhar authentication, he said and pointed out that it is extremely important to clearly identify the person who is getting vaccinated and keep a digital record on who gets vaccinated by whom, when, and which vaccine. He also advised the states and UTs that the data collection should meet the purpose of facilitating work and that needs to be validated at the field levels.

The Centre has been proactively carrying activities towards preparing for the nationwide roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine in close collaboration with states, Union Territories, and all stakeholders. The Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) held a video conference with administrators from states and UTs on Sunday to discuss the Co-WIN software which forms the backbone of the vaccine administration.

The meeting was chaired by Ram Sewak Sharma who is also a member of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19. The meeting was attended by state principal secretaries, NHM mission directors, and state immunisation officers and senior officers of the health ministry. During the meeting, the feedback of the states and UTs on the Co-WIN software and its operational use, emanating from the dry runs, was discussed in detail.

Mr. Sharma gave an overall view of the Co-WIN software and the principles that shall underpin the technology back-up for the vaccination exercise. He said that robust, dependable, and agile technology shall form both the foundation and the back-up for the country's COVID-19 vaccination which shall be the world's largest immunisation exercise.

Addressing the participants, he stated that the process should be citizen-centric and built on the approach that the vaccine shall be available anytime and anywhere. He stressed the need to be flexible without compromising on quality. He reiterated that inclusivity, speed, and scalability have been kept in mind while designing the unique digital platform with all components being portable and synchronous without excessive and unnecessary dependencies.

He also underscored the critical importance of capturing the vaccination data in real-time, stating that this was non-negotiable and said the posting of data on the portal may be online or offline in view of connectivity issues being highlighted by a few states.

There was a detailed and comprehensive discussion about the experience of the states and UTs. Their feedback and the consequent changes in software and protocols based on those inputs were deliberated upon. These included issues such as session allocation, planning, time slots, work flow allocation, allocation of vaccinators, sending SMS to vaccinators and beneficiaries, and connectivity issues.

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