VIJAYAWADA: “If slots are not currently available, they will be opened soon. Please check again after sometime. We regret inconvenience.” This is the message received when one tried to book a slot on CoWIN web portal, which opened at 5 pm on Wednesday for those in the age group of 18-44 to get themselves registered for free Covid vaccination, which is slated from May 1. When the portal opened for registration, thousands of youths tried to open it and some even rushed to internet centres to book a slot. However, within a few minutes, the server crashed, disappointing many.
“I opened the website at my home to get myself registered. After it crashed initially, I tried again, but could only open after an hour. However, after several attempts, I could register myself, but when I tried to book a slot, it flashed a message stating that inconvenience is regretted. When I tried to book a slot opening the window mentioning the name of the district, it showed two session centres but with slots meant for 45 plus people,” Jayant, a student in Vijayawada told TNIE.
Guruprasad, a private employee, said after successfully registering himself, when he tried to book a slot, all he received was the message -- Appointment for aged 18 to 44 is based on slots made available by private vaccination centres as well as the respective State government. If slots are not available now, they will be opened soon. Please check again.
When Nagajyothi of Old Town in Kurnool faced the same problem and she tried to contact the 104 call centre, she was told that registration and booking slots can only be done online and advised to keep trying. Several youths were either seen furiously clicking their mobiles to get registered or flocking to internet cafes.
In Vizag, nobody in the age group of 18-44 was able to book a slot for vaccination. Many people faced problems with incredibly slow server and some were unable to receive an OTP to their respective mobile numbers for registration.
After all the hassles, some had registered themselves, but are unable to book a slot for a Covid jab. “While I am trying to book a slot, a pop up appeared that the ‘minimum age to book is 45,” said Nupur Biswas (23). Though some PHCs and CHCs showed up, slots were not opened to those below 45 contradictory to the message -- booking is now open.
In Tirupati and Nellore, several people failed to book a slot for Covid vaccination. The Covid Command and Control Centre officials said slots for the 18 to 44 age group would only open after the vaccine is available for vaccination drive. At present, the available vaccine is being used for above 45 people and other categories. When it will be available, it is anybody’s guess, they said.
Visit CoWIN portal cowin.gov.in
Register yourself from April 28, 2021
Schedule vaccination appointment
Vaccination for people in the age group of 18 to 44 will be given at private vaccination centres
Check the confirmation of appointment on registered mobile number
Carry the appointment slip and photo ID card used for registration