July 24, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination drive in Bengaluru: Mix-ups, technical errors, and negligence

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The Karnataka state officials are experiencing a challenge to identify the total number of people vaccinated against Covid-19 with several loopholes of mobile number mix-ups, technical errors, and negligence.

Several beneficiaries have raised a complaint of not receiving certificates post-vaccination, while some said they received erroneous certificates.  In a few instances, the registered number of an individual is used to vaccinate others, as what happened with a 56-year-old resident of Thyagarajnagar.

In another instance, a woman named Suma SR had reserved a booking slot on Aarogya Setu with a number on May 30, where it was discovered that four men in Gujarat used it for their vaccination dated April 14.

Suma’s son Abhishek commented, “You can imagine our shock, especially after the four people who took the vaccination were not even residents of Karnataka.”

To which, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said a mix-up like that is not possible. BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta indicated the booking of slots is connected to sending a One-Time-Password (OTP) on the registered number.

Abhishek said no such OTP was received. “I don’t know if fraud was committed or if this is a technical glitch. The BBMP and 1075 helpline have not helped us sort this out. They said I should take it up with officials in Gujarat.”

Did not receive vaccination certificate

Veena, a 54-year old resident of RR Nagar, was vaccinated with the second dose on May 5 at the BBMP vaccination camp, held in GG Halli, but did not receive any certificate. Veena said, “A friend who was vaccinated with me received her certificate a few days later, but mine has not come at all.”

Veena asked, “How will I show proof that I have had two doses? Suppose, next year, a booster dose is given for people who have the final certificate. Then people like me are in trouble. And beyond that, how will the government know how many people have been vaccinated if individuals like me are slipping through the cracks?”

The CoWIN application continues to show a pending status for the second dose in Veena’s account.

When inquired about the same to Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health), he revealed this does not happen generally and may be a case of software snag. Akhtar said the concerned people can contact the vaccination centre with the required details and the authorities will generate the vaccination certificate.

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