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The covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) platform, designed to assist the mass immunization drive in India continued to face technical disruptions across states on Tuesday, the fourth day of the vaccination programme.

While West Bengal missed the target of vaccinating beneficiaries, the central government had to make some changes to the software to ensure smooth vaccination in Punjab. “The Co-WIN app has been facing issues for last two days. We could add only 100 beneficiaries in the system, but could not vaccinate all because either some didn’t want to be vaccinated, or they were unwell or didn’t turn up due to personal reasons," Husan Lal, principal secretary, health and family welfare, Punjab, told Mint.

“We reported the problems to the Union health ministry. There has been an amendment in the platform after which we can add a new session in which a vaccinator can add 100 more beneficiaries. Now the system is working fine," he said.

In Ram Manohar Lohia hospital New Delhi, officials faced similar problems. On Monday, the hospital had to take many healthcare workers on walk-in basis which led to higher attendance than targeted.

“There were some glitches in Co-WIN that have now been resolved. We are continuously working on the portal," said Dr V.K. Paul, member (health) NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank.

The technical experts said the platform may miss significant data regarding vaccines and beneficiaries as it can only track from a state’s central warehouse to the last mile, but not from manufacturers to the last mile. “An end-to-end tracking and traceability of the vaccine doses, right from the manufacturing location until the citizens are vaccinated is essential in making the world’s biggest vaccination drive a success. The programme has to be live tracked and traced at every step along the way," said Prem Sharma, chief executive and founder, DaytoDay Health, a health-tech startup.

“Tracking shots on the first day to the next round on the 21st day would be critical for data management, analytics and avoiding lapses. Additionally, tracking and tracing is important to ensure quality and safety and eliminate black marketing and counterfeiting," said Sharma.

Moreover, CoWin does not have any known capability to handle product verifications, returns, resales and recalls compromising the data which is required during the pandemic.

Sharma said Co-WIN needs to incorporate a stronger artificial intelligence and machine learning ecosystem.

“To build scale, the Centre must look at third-party service providers to incorporate efficacies and build a dynamic product that enriches the customer experience, while smoothly delivering on its purpose," Sharma noted.

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