he Union health ministry has announced the addition of a new security feature in the CoWIN portal, that will aim to reduce erroneously generated vaccination certificates and prevent impersonators and fraudulent actors looking to misguide users for financial gains. The new feature adds a four digit security code, which users will receive on their phones once they manage to confirm a slot to get vaccinated. Once a slot is confirmed, a four digit security code (that will work in the same manner as one-time passwords) will be sent to users via SMS. This code will then have to be procured by people at their respective vaccination centres in order to authenticate the process.
HOW TO BOOK COVID-19 VACCINE SLOT VIA COWIN
With this new update, the entire vaccination process now works as follows:
- Head to the CoWIN website, or the vaccination section in the Aarogya Setu app
- Here, register your mobile number by entering your contact and a subsequent OTP. If you have already done this before, sign in
- Once signed in, select your residence state and district
- If you know of a vaccination centre near you and its exact PIN code, you can narrow down the process by searching via PIN code as well
- Here, you will be shown all vaccination centres near you, and slots available in them
- Click on any green slot of preference, select a time slot and the selected centre and confirm your booking
- Once confirmed, you will be issued a four-digit security code and sent to your SMS inbox
- Next day, at the vaccination centre, produce this security code to validate your booking
- Once vaccinated, login to CoWIN with your phone number again and download your vaccination certificate
HOW THIS WILL BENEFIT PEOPLE
According to reports, the vaccination certificates of users will be generated only once this four digit security code is supplied to the authorities at vaccination centres. The main objective behind this move has reportedly been to reduce errors in the generation of vaccination certificates. The CoWIN portal is said to have been marking people as vaccinated just by them registering themselves and booking a vaccination slot – in essence, before they received the vaccine. With the new security code, a person can only be marked vaccinated once they themselves mention it at the vaccination centre.
The four digit security code for CoWIN will also be useful in helping steer clear of impostors and impersonators who are looking to misuse the nationwide vaccination drive for personal financial gains. To ensure this, the CoWIN portal will print the security code on the vaccination certificate that is automatically generated, which would therefore give users also a way to cross-verify the authenticity of their certificate. The move to use the security codes as an additional layer of verification will start applying for people who book today for slots tomorrow, and will be applicable to people across all age groups that are eligible to get the vaccine.
Source: News 18