This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.
The second wave of Coronavirus in India is claiming thousands of lives every day as per government statistics, which is reported to be hiding the actual number of deaths by the virus. Following this, all citizens aged 18+ were allowed to register for vaccination on the CoWIN website of the Aarogya Setu app.
Several reports indicate that most individuals who have managed to register for vaccination are unable to book any slots for vaccination, as the slots for 18+ are always either already booked or unavailable on the app. Many have complained that all vaccination centres surrounding them still display an age limit of 45+ to book slots. This has created widespread panic within the citizens as the pandemic continues to claim innumerable lives and is on a steady rise.
Medical research indicates an incoming third wave of COVID-19, which is expected to be even more fatal than the current situation. During such a time, vaccination must be ensured to all citizens; however, the government’s existing system is highly inadequate to cater to this need. Reports indicate that only 16.7 crore doses of the vaccine have been administered up until May 7. These figures are alarming for a densely populated country like India which has reached a stage of accelerated community transmission.
Another serious concern in the current vaccination system is that the registration and booking for vaccination have been entirely shifted to online portals, which effectively renders the largest section of the Indian population outside the scope of receiving the vaccination. This government advertises digitisation of all affairs, however, that fails to account for the material condition of the labouring masses who do not have access to or information about these platforms.
The government must undertake the nationalisation of vaccine production and ensure that vaccine slots are made available to all citizens. The national vaccination drive should be free and equal for all. The government must devise an alternative registration process wherein those who do not have access to technology are not denied access to life-saving vaccines, this could include walk-in or door-to-door registration and vaccination.