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'CoWIN Vaccination Slots To Open Up At A Fixed Time, Preference For 18-44 Yrs With Comorbidities' : State Tells Bombay High Court

Sharmeen Hakim
17 Jun 2021 8:38 AM GMT
CoWIN Vaccination Slots To Open Up At A Fixed Time, Preference For 18-44 Yrs With Comorbidities : State Tells Bombay High Court
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In a relief for residents in Maharashtra, the State Government has agreed to open up the CoWIN portal for booking vaccine slots at a fixed time as opposed to registration slots opening up at any time of the day. In an affidavit to the Bombay High Court, the state has agreed to most of the suggestions given by the PIL petitioner Yogeeta Vanzara for improvements to the CoWIN portal and...

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In a relief for residents in Maharashtra, the State Government has agreed to open up the CoWIN portal for booking vaccine slots at a fixed time as opposed to registration slots opening up at any time of the day.

In an affidavit to the Bombay High Court, the state has agreed to most of the suggestions given by the PIL petitioner Yogeeta Vanzara for improvements to the CoWIN portal and to ease the vaccination process.

In doing so, the state has said it would give preference for vaccination to citizens between 18-44 years with comorbidities as petitioners argued that they are at greater risk of contracting the virus while waiting for their turn in the queue.

"The state government will issue instructions to all the districts and Municipal Corporations to publish vaccination session slots at predetermined times on the basis of availability of stocks of vaccine to avoid inconvenience to people."

"Instructions will also be issued to by the state government to all district authorities to give priority to persons between 18-44 comorbidities," the state said in their affidavit.

During the previous hearing, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni had asked the state to consider the suggestions and asked authorities not to wait for its orders to implement any of the recommendations.

Advocates Jamshed Master and Rajesh Vanzara had submitted that their primary prayer remains a fixed time for the opening of booking slots on the CoWIN portal. So that people don't have to sit in front of their screens the entire day hoping to get an inoculation appointment, he explained.

The state has submitted that it would issue the necessary notifications soon, in compliance with the undertaking given through the affidavit.

Apart from the above, responses to some of the other recommendations made by the petitioner are as follows.

Walk-in facility for economically backward persons/people who do not have smartphones :

The petitioner had suggested that economically backward persons and persons who do not have access to smartphones should be given a platform to register through NGOs or a walk-in vaccine facility with prior intimation. The suggestion further said that tokens may be given in advance from the concerned ward offices to such persons.

The affidavit says that the State Government would be issuing guidelines on this aspect in line with the immunisation letter issued by the Union Government on June 7, 2021.

Making weekly vaccination plan available:

The affidavit says the Government of Maharashtra will publish a weekly plan in districts including Mumbai. "The State government will plan the schedule about vaccination depending on the Union's allocation and the supply by manufacturers."

However, the state cautioned that the weekly plan for vaccination cannot be supplied in every district due to the vaccine shortage.

Monitoring of Vaccination Process

"In respect of the suggestion for monitoring by the City Task Force, the State government will give instructions to all districts and Municipal Corporations to publish the appointment slots as per availability of vaccination at the Covid Vaccination Centre."

The matter will be heard after 2 weeks for compliance.


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