The central government, despite all its ‘Digital India’ push, has been unable to digitally use the vaccine against Kovid 19 in India. In fact, the Center has admitted in an affidavit to the Supreme Court that more than three-fourth of the total vaccine dose has been given through onsite or walk-in vaccination. According to the information, as on 23.06.2021, out of 32.22 crore beneficiaries, 19.12 crore beneficiaries were registered in on-site mode. At the same time, according to the data available on Covin, out of the total 29.68 crore vaccine doses recorded on Covin, 23.12 crore doses have been administered through on-site or walk-in vaccination.
It is believed that the figures presented in the Supreme Court are increasing the concern of the Supreme Court on the vaccination policy of the Center. The central government had started a phased COVID 19 vaccination campaign through the Kovin digital platform, in which prior registration was required to receive the dose. The government has made several changes to ease online registration on the Kovin platform, such as introducing the portal in 14 regional languages including Hindi and Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Gurmukhi, Bengali.
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The Supreme Court in a judgment on May 31 had also condemned the mandatory online registration. Pointing to the digital divide existing in the country, the court said that the goal of universal vaccination cannot be achieved by relying on a single portal.
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In its affidavit, the Center said that it was aware that lack of access to digital devices or internet could create barriers for citizens and hence it had allowed both on-site and digital registration for all age groups.