HYDERABAD: A message claiming that Covid vaccination appointments can be booked through WhatsApp by providing the citizen's name, age and Aadhaar details, is viral on messaging apps and social media.
It asked the citizens to send a message to a phone number with details in order to book vaccine appointments.
This message contained the logo of a non-profit organization `STEP ONE'. It said that the service is "integrated with the government's Co-Win vaccine management system", and four people can book an appointment at once.
This message was also viral on Twitter.
However, The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has termed the message as FAKE.
This message was fact-checked by the PIB and was termed FAKE. "This claim is #Fake. Registration for #COVID19 vaccination can be done only through the COWIN portal and Arogya Setu app," PIB tweeted.
On the other hand, STEP ONE released a press statement stating that the WhatsApp bot was created by Project Step One as an alternate channel to COWIN portal and Arogya Setu app.
It further stated that it has always been its endeavor to support government across states to help contain the pandemic. However, keeping in mind the Ministry of Health's call, the organization has put the service on hold. STEP ONE said it has asked for permission to carry on the service.
As of now, the service of booking Covid vaccinations via STEP ONE project on WhatsApp is not currently available. Registration for the vaccination can be made through the COWIN portal and the Arogya Setu app.