India is betting on glitchy software to inoculate 300 million people by August



India, which has had the second-highest number of covid-19 cases in the world, has launched one of Asia’s most ambitious vaccination drives, aiming to inoculate 300 million people by August. To make it happen, the government is using a vaccine management system called Co-WIN. For now, the focus is on getting 30 million health-care and frontline workers vaccinated. 

These workers will receive one of two vaccines approved for emergency use: the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine—known locally as Covishield and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India—and Bharat Biotech’s indigenous vaccine, called Covaxin. 

Co-WIN is the backbone of the vaccination drive, so to speak. It handles registrations, creates vaccination schedules, informs the recipients through text messages, sends people to the right vaccination center, and also creates a vaccination certificate after they’ve received two doses. Although it’s starting with health-care workers, it’s expected to be used for the general public, too, and people will be asked to self-register through the app. 

Author(s): Varsha Bansal

Publication Date: 10 February 2021

Publication Site: MIT Technology Review