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Ownership of a mobile phone is not a prerequisite for Covid-19 vaccination, government said on Wednesday. As the vaccination numbers witnessed a dip after touching a record high of 8 million on Monday after the vaccine procurement policy changed, the union health ministry said that it is also not mandatory to pre-register online on Co-WIN for availing vaccination.

Further to promote covid-19 vaccination, the government clarified that production of address proof for availing vaccination is also not mandatory for receiving covid-19 vaccines.

“For easy understanding of users, Co-Win is now available in 12 languages. These include Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Odia, Bengali, Assamese, Gurumukhi (Punjabi) and English," said R S Sharma, the CEO of the National Health Authority (NHA) and the Co-Win platform.

“Co-WIN platform is an inclusive IT system which provides a flexible framework with all the necessary features to facilitate coverage in the remotest parts of the country as well as for those who are most vulnerable," Sharma said.

While one of the nine identity cards including Aadhar, Elector Photo Identity Card, Ration Card with Photo, Disability I.D. Card etc., is required for availing of vaccination, special provisions have been made by Government of India for organising vaccination sessions for those who may not have any of the nine specified identity cards or own a mobile phone, the government said.

Taking full benefit of such provisions, more than 2 lakh such beneficiaries have been vaccinated, so far. Near-to-home vaccination centre services for the elderly and persons with disability are also being provided, the union health ministry said.

The government further emphasized that for those who may not have access to internet or smart phones or even to mobile phone, free of cost on-site registration (also popularly called Walk-In) and vaccination is available at all government vaccination centres.

“80% of all vaccine doses have so far been administered in an on-site vaccination mode. In on-site (or walk-in) vaccination, all the data recording for registration, vaccination and generation of vaccination certificates is done by the vaccinator and the beneficiary himself/herself is only required to provide the basic minimum necessary information," said the union health ministry in statement.

Furthermore, covid-19 vaccination coverage is found to be better in tribal districts than the national averages. Data also shows that more than 70% of vaccination centres are located in rural areas including more than 26,000 at the Primary Health Centres and 26000 at the sub-health centres, the government said.

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