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NEW DELHI : India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) may incorporate software modifications and lessons learnt from the covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) platform.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off the first phase of the vaccine rollout on Saturday morning via video conferencing, the Co-WIN platform will play a critical role in the inoculation programme by providing realtime information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and tracking of beneficiaries.

The digital platform will help programme managers across national, state and district-levels conduct vaccination sessions. It will help them track beneficiary coverage, dropouts, sessions planned versus sessions held and vaccine utilization.

The Co-WIN platform enables administrators to view and sort data of beneficiaries based on their gender, age and co-morbidity status. They can also view the metadata of vaccinations and Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) reported across states and Union territories. District administrators can create session sites at any location by entering a PIN code, followed by specifying the locality or villages and then assign a vaccinator.

The government has set up a Covid Control Room in the health ministry. Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday reviewed preparations for the launch of the nationwide covid-19 vaccination drive and the working of Co-WIN.

“In the beneficiary registration page for all non-prioritized groups on Co-WIN, the software can be pre-populated with beneficiaries by seeding it with electoral database, in addition to other documents that are authorized for registration. The lessons learnt and the software modifications may also be incorporated in the country’s Universal Immunization Programme," Vardhan said.

The vaccination programme will cover the entire country, with more than 3,000 session sites connected virtually throughout the exercise. According to the government, around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated on Saturday at each of these session sites. The vaccination drive has been planned in a phased manner, identifying priority groups. Health workers, both in government and the private sector, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers will receive the vaccine during this phase.

As the country gears up for the vaccination drive, the virus continues to sicken people and claim lives. The number of new cases in the last 24 hours was 15,590. Over 77.56% of the new cases are from seven states and UTs. Kerala continues to report the highest daily new cases at 5,490. It is followed by Maharashtra with 3,579, while West Bengal reported 680 new cases. A total of 191 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Maharashtra saw the most casualties (70). Kerala and West Bengal follow with 19 and 17 deaths.

The total number of covid-19 cases climbed to 10.53 million, and the death toll mounted to 153,157

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