Media reports claiming COVID vaccination fraud are baseless, misleading: Government

There are some reports in the international media alleging a "vaccination fraud" and further claiming that people are being fraudulently registered as double vaccinated without receiving both doses.

Published: 03rd February 2022 03:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2022 03:54 PM   |  A+A-

A healthworker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary at a vaccination centre, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Photo | Parveen Negi/EPS)


NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry on Thursday termed as ill-informed, baseless and misleading the media reports claiming that beneficiaries are being registered as double vaccinated without receiving both Covid vaccine doses.

There are some reports in the international media alleging a "vaccination fraud" and further claiming that people are being fraudulently registered as double vaccinated without receiving both doses, the ministry said in a statement.

These reports have also alleged that vaccination "figures were being manipulated", it said.

"It is clarified that such media reports are not only misleading but are completely ill-informed, and without any basis. The authors perhaps are not aware that it is the health workers themselves that enter vaccination event data in the Co-WIN system," the statement said.

"The claim of the authors that the very health workers who enter the data have alleged irregularities, indicates that the authors do not have any understanding of the processes of vaccination event recording on Co-WIN," it said.

India's Covid vaccination drive is the largest globally and it is supported with a strong technology backup provided by the Co-WIN digital platform that has performed exceptionally in the last more than one year of the vaccination drive, the ministry said.

It said that all Covid vaccinations are recorded in this digital platform.

The Co-WIN system is an inclusive platform or system, and has been designed keeping the limitations and challenges of mobile and internet availability across the country, the statement said.

Necessary features and flexibility, to ensure that every eligible individual has access to vaccination, regardless of any of physical, digital or socio-economic barriers to access, have been incorporated in Co-WIN, it said.

The ministry said that at the same time, SOPs and features have been incorporated to prevent fraudulent or wrong data entry at the time of vaccination.

Every vaccination team has a verifier whose sole purpose is to establish the identity of the beneficiaries coming for vaccination, the ministry said in the statement.

The vaccination process has several steps before a beneficiary is recorded as vaccinated in Co-WIN, which empowers the verifier or vaccinator to establish the identity of the beneficiary at time of verification before marking the beneficiary as vaccinated, it said.

Despite the above enablers, there might be cases where a vaccination team might have overlooked the SOPs, leading to error in data entry and recording, leading to cases where a beneficiary is marked vaccinated without being administered the vaccine, the statement said.

Due to the system of SMS communication with beneficiaries through Co-WIN, such cases are immediately reported through the grievance addressal mechanism, it said.

On receiving such complaints, the details of the vaccination team and Covid vaccination centre where such cases are reported are sent to the state officials concerned for taking necessary corrective action.

Furthermore, tbeneficiaries have been empowered to make necessary corrections in their records on Co-WIN, the statement said.

The "Raise an issue" module in the beneficiary dashboard allows the beneficiaries to make following corrections apart from changes in basic demographic details like name, age, gender and photo identity such as "merging two dose #1 certificates, reporting unknown member registered in 'my CoWIN account' and revoking vaccination – from fully to partially vaccinated, and from partially to not vaccinated", it said.

"It needs to be appreciated that even with its very large population, India has successfully implemented its nationwide COVID vaccination programme and administered more than 167 crore doses as on date, covering more than 76 per cent of the eligible population above 18 years with both the doses," the statement added.


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