Thiruvananthapuram: The online booking for Covid vaccination could be a hit-and-miss, but there are some ways to increase the probability of getting slots.
The vaccine slots are booked via the CoWIN portal (cowin.gov.in). The challenge is to know when the slots are updated on the website.
In each district, the government vaccine centres update the vaccine slots on the CoWIN portal at a specific time. For instance, in Thiruvananthapuram, this is from 3pm. But there is no specific time for updation of private hospitals at most of the places.
What can be done:
Know the time: Find out the time when slots are updated in each district from the social media pages of the district information centres or Collectors. During this time, enter the mobile number on the CoWIN portal and wait. Keep searching. The key factor is speed.
Parallel system: The slot updation alert of even private hospitals can be availed in real-time through Telegram app using tools such as under45.in and above45.in. There are similar tools in PayTM apps too. Once a centre updates a slot, the alert will be sent via Telegram message within 10 seconds. Several private hospitals inform about when they update the slots through their social media pages.
Use computers: The desktops show the slot availability a few seconds earlier than the mobile phones. The computer will also show the slot availability for seven days at once. On mobile phones, the slot for each day has to be specifically selected.
Pin code not needed: Instead of using the pin code, a district-wise search on the CoWIN portal can increase the chances of getting the slot. If the GPS is turned on, the nearby centres will be shown on the map. But it is better to check the entire district.
Paid/free: While booking, use filters such as Paid, Free, Age 18+, Age 45+ and so on to better locate the hospitals. Private hospitals can be located quickly if the paid option is selected.
Vaccine certificates can be corrected
Vaccine recipients now have the open to make corrections if there are any errors in the name, date of birth, and gender on the vaccine certificate. One person can make a correction only once.
Though the feature was made available on the CoWIN portal on Wednesday, it soon ran into a technical glitch. There are complaints that this feature was rolled out without accurate planning.
How to make corrections
• Log in to CoWIN portal with the mobile number that was used to register for vaccination.
• From the 'Raise an Issue' option, select the profile of the person on whose certificate the corrections have to be made.
• After selecting, choose 'Correction in Certificate' option from 'What is the issue'
• From name, date of birth & gender, click on the field which needs to be corrected. Correction can be made only for two of these fields.
• Once clicked, the options for making changes will appear below. Hit 'Continue' and submit.
• With this, you will get the option to download the new certificate. The old certificate will be removed as well.