More private companies seek to integrate with India’s immunization platform (report)

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India’s National Health Authority is reviewing over 100 other requests from private companies for integration with the country’s vaccination platform Covid Vaccine Intelligent Network or CoWIN.

According to a Newscast, most of the inquiries came from pharmaceutical companies, travel portals, state governments and banks. Private companies trying to access CoWIN’s application programming interface (API) also include hospital groups Max Healthcare and Apollo Hospitals.

Citing data from the NHA, the report noted that more than 36 government and private groups have already integrated their mobile apps or portals with CoWin, while 213 (mostly private) organizations have gained access to the API, including the electronic pharmacy companies Tata 1mg and Pharmacie.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

At the end of May, the Department of Health and Family Welfare released guidelines for integrating the CoWin platform with third-party applications. The move allows developers to include the Vaccination Platform API in their own apps, which then becomes an alternative for Indian citizens to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The opening of the CoWIN API also pushes various stakeholders from the public to the private sector to provide immunization-related services; develop and deploy software solutions compatible with the statewide vaccination portal; and provide a better user experience and better choice for people for easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

In an effort to increase their vaccination rates, the health services of Kerala, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have been granted access to the CoWin API.

The integration of the Tata 1mg platform with CoWin allows it to help mobilize beneficiaries and fight against reluctance to vaccination through communication, while allowing users of its application to reserve a vaccination window.

The report also mentioned that the Indian Space Research Organization was adding its Bhuvan geoportal to the CoWin portal to provide information on the location of vaccination centers, as well as the availability, dosage and type of vaccines.

THE BROADER CONTEXT

Developed by the country’s health ministry, the CoWin portal is a multilingual website launched in January. It serves as the backbone of India’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, where users can book their time slot, track the country’s vaccination campaign, and download vaccination certificates. In July, India made its COVID-19 vaccination platform open source for use by other countries.

Lately, India has administered over 700 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, fully immunizing over 11% of its total population.


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