Soon, users will be able to book CoWin slots via third party apps. The update comes after MyGov, the public technology arm of the central government, published a set of detailed guidelines and terms of services for third party apps to integrate CoWin services under their own app. The move may open up the possibility of state governments and associated authorised service providers (ASPs) running their own apps, through which users would be able to book a vaccination slot, as well as get access to other Covid-19 assistance and related services.
As part of the guidelines published by MyGov for potential developers to integrate the CoWin API and help users book CoWin slots to get their vaccine doses, the body says, “The intent is to enable various stakeholders such as States/UT Governments, Private Service Providers, Software Developers and any other agencies, who wishes to provide vaccination related services, to develop and rollout software solutions around and compatible with CoWin – to enhance the diversity and functionality complementing CoWin, offer better user experience and choice to people, including for improving access to Covid-19 vaccination.”
The move therefore opens up the possibility of both state governments as well as private operators to help users book CoWin slots through a custom app. The move will come handy in cases where, for instance, a corporate organisation starts its own vaccination process. In such cases, the entity can simply ask its employees to register through the company’s own human resources portal, in which the CoWin API may be implemented. The move can therefore streamline the process for users to book CoWin slots and get vaccinated.
However, the primary concern among individuals across India has been the dearth of availability of Covid-19 vaccines, which has led to numerous users complaining about the lack of availability of slots. It is important to note that while opening up of the API would make it possible for users to book vaccination slots through third party apps, it won’t increase availability of slots – this would still remain the same as the master database accessed directly through Aarogya Setu app, or the CoWin portal.
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