As the vaccination drive progresses in the country, the challenge for the people shifts from getting an OTP to getting an appointment slot.

Only 20 percent of those who tried to get vaccination appointment were able to do so; while OTP generation is no longer a big challenge, getting an appointment is, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

A total of 58 percent of those who tried to get an appointment for vaccination via CO-WIN have not been able to do so, as per the survey.

However, as people tried to register themselves for vaccination via the CO-WIN site or the Aarogya Setu app, many had difficulty getting an OTP or finding an appointment.

LocalCircles conducted a survey on March 1, which received over 14,000 responses. It found that only 8 percent of those who tried to get Covid-19 vaccine appointment using the CO-WIN site or the Aarogya Setu app were able to do so.

Now with four days of citizens interfacing with the CO-WIN system and the Aarogya Setu app, LocalCircles has conducted another survey in an attempt to understand if issues with the CO-WIN site or Aarogya Setu app still persist. The survey received over 8,900 responses from citizens located in 204 districts.

Only 20 percent of those who tried to get vaccination appointment were able to do so, as per the survey.

On the first question in the poll that tried to understand how Covid-19 vaccination worked this week for citizens or their family members while registering with the CO-WIN site or Aarogya Setu app, only 9 percent said that they "were able to register and get an appointment easily", 11 percent "were able to register after many attempts and get an appointment", 42 percent "were able to register easily but couldn`t get an appointment", and 16 percent "were able to register only after many attempts but couldn`t get an appointment".

Breaking down the poll, 15 percent "weren`t able to register due to OTP or other issues", while 7 percent "walked into a hospital without registration and even got vaccinated".

Findings of the poll indicated that only 20 percent of those who tried to get the vaccination appointment were able to do so. It also indicated that OTP is no longer a big challenge, but getting an appointment is now the top challenge.

It can be mentioned here that many citizens were frustrated over delays in the registration process due to glitches. The CO-WIN portal was lagging at several sites, with some hospitals unable to start registration for hours.

The survey, which alternatively tried to look into how citizens and their family members` registration process worked this week, found that 20 per cent "could get appointment", 58 per cent "could not get an appointment", and 15 per cent "could not get the OPT or faced other issues". On the other hand, 7 percent "gave up on CO-WIN and did walk-in".

The survey results indicate that finding appointments for registration for senior citizens and those above 45 years with comorbidities in the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive using the CO-WIN or Aarogya Setu app continues to be a frustrating experience for many.

The survey said that the challenge for the government is ensuring smooth functioning of the CO-WIN site and the Aarogya Setu app as well as ensuring that hospitals are uploading their details of vaccinations completed and slots available.

Many citizens reported to LocalCircles that after the CO-WIN site did not work, they gave up and walked into the hospitals and got vaccinated easily. For them, the CO-WIN site basically did not even come in the picture.

In addition to CO-WIN, the other challenge would be to ensure that there is no black marketing and over charging, the survey found.

Hospital management and doctor discretion is also something that must be minimised so that only the qualifying individuals get the vaccine.

It was reported on LocalCircles that during the healthcare workers` vaccination during Phase 1, many of the doctors got their families vaccinated, who weren`t necessarily working in the healthcare sector.

With so many private and government hospitals now involved, if traceability and accountability go missing, some of the qualifying senior citizens or those with comorbidities could be pushed down in the queue by friends and family of the healthcare professionals and the VIPs.

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