CHENNAI: When 60-year-old Venkataraman went to a Corporation school in Alandur to get vaccinated recently, he was denied a jab since he did not carry a photocopy of his Aadhaar card. The old man had to ask people around and eventually walk to a xerox shop to get a photocopy of the same.
This is the plight of elders and many citizens at almost all the vaccination centres in the city. Either the officials demand a photocopy or the original of Aadhaar and refuse to accept any other identity proof.
State immunisation officer Dr Vinay Kumar told Express that there is no such rule and seven identity cards must be accepted by the government. This includes Aadhar card, electoral photo identity card (EPIC)-voter ID, passport, driving license, PAN card, NPR smart card, and pension document with a photograph.
“Also, the officials must not demand for photocopy and instead check the original copy and register them on the portal,” said Vinay. When Express visited the school, as Venkataraman did, in Jal Street at Alandur, there was a queue of at least 300 people with no physical distancing norms with a photocopy of Aadhaar card. When asked why, one of the officials there said it was necessary for registration and refused to comment further. On his table, was a huge stack of Aadhaar copies. Similarly, when the Corporation conducted a vaccination camp at one of the private offices in Egmore, they had demanded xerox copies of Aadhaar, alleged employees.
“We were informed that we need to submit a photocopy or our details will not be registered on Cowin. At a time when there is so much of data breach, this move looks fishy,” said D Charan, an employee. Even in places where photocopy is not being demanded, only Aadhaar is being accepted as proof. Officials at the vaccination centres said there is also an issue with the Cowin portal as most of the times, it accepts only Aadhaar as identity proof and shows error for others.