Around 15 state agencies and companies have sought the government’s approval to provide online COVID-19 vaccine bookings, RS Sharma, who chairs the government panel overseeing CoWIN. They include companies such as Paytm, Infosys, MakeMyTrip, healthcare firms Apollo and Max, and e-pharmacy 1mg, Sharma said. “The union of all entities is better than one individual platform,” he added.
The government relaxed rules last month to potentially allow third-party apps to offer vaccine bookings and has taken back control of procurement from states following delays and shortages. It also faced initial problems with its own vaccine booking platform.
Around 15 State agencies and private companies, which also include Indian healthcare giants Apollo and Max, and online pharmacy 1mg, have asked to be allowed to offer vaccine bookings, R.S. Sharma, head of the government’s panel managing the CoWIN vaccination registration platform, told Reuters.
Softbank-backed digital payments app Paytm has more than 100 million monthly active users and MakeMyTrip has 12 million. Their popularity is seen as providing more options to Indians looking to book their vaccine shots, particularly if they are struggling with an unfamiliar government platform.
It will work in favour of the country, the union of all the entities is better than just one individual platform, Sharma said.
Only 3.5% of India’s 1.3 billion population has been fully immunised against Covid-19 and health officials say the pace will have to be increased to avoid further deadly surges of the virus.