Pre-registration or prior booking of appointment is not mandatory to avail the COVID-19 vaccination services, the Union Health Ministry announced on Tuesday (June 15). The government said that anyone aged above 18 years or more can directly go to the nearest vaccination center where the on-site registration is done and the vaccine is administered in the same visit. It is called 'walk-in' procedure.

The clarification came after reports that many people in rural areas have been facing problems in getting vaccinated. The statement was issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

The statement went on to say that CoWIN platform is just one of the many modes of registration for vaccinations apart from walk-ins. Health workers or ASHAs mobilize beneficiaries in rural areas and urban slums to opt for on-site registration to expand vaccination coverage, the statement added.

"Out of the 28.36 crore beneficiaries registered on CoWIN till June 13, 16.45 crore (58 per cent) beneficiaries have been registered in the on-site mode," said the statement.

The authorities noted that all the above modes, specifically operationalised for rural areas, are functional and enabling equitable access to vaccination in rural areas.

It added that of the total 24.84 crore vaccine doses recorded on Co-WIN till June 13, 19.84 crore doses (nearly 80 per cent) have been administered through on-site registrations.

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