Kolkata resident receives message from coWIN that she has been vaccinated in Jharkhand; glitches in system now add to people’s woes

Published : May 21, 2021 17:49 IST

The message that Debashree received.

The provisional certificate thatwas availabe for download.

At a time when people are moving heaven and earth to get vaccinated in the face of non-availability of vaccines, Debasree Basu, who resides in Kolkata, found herself facing a new kind of vaccine harassment — on her phone was a message from CoWIN that said she had been vaccinated with her first dose at Kersai Panchayat Kurdeg, Simdega, Jharkhand, and asking her to download her vaccination certificate from the coWIN portal.

Speaking to Frontline, Debasree explained that around 10:30 p.m. on May 20, she was scrolling the coWIN app to find out about the availability of vaccines in Kolkata, when out of curiosity, she decided to check out the vaccine situation in the neighbouring States. “It was just out of curiosity that I was looking at whether vaccines were available in our neighbouring States of Assam, Odisha and Jharkhand. Since I am not used to such apps, I accidentally clicked on a slot between 3-6 p.m. in Jharkhand on May 20 itself. It said “booking is confirmed” (even though it was long past the time of the slot). I tried immediately to cancel it, but could not as there was a message that said I could not cancel an ongoing appointment,” Debasree told Frontline.

Since the booking was in any way invalid, Debasree thought it would be automatically cancelled. But to her dismay, the next morning she received an SMS that said: “Dear Debasree BasU, You have successfully been vaccinated with your 1st Dose with COVAXIN on 21-05-2021 at 08:00 AM. You may download your vaccination Certificate from …” The previous night (May 20) she had received a message at 10:34 p.m. that read: “Dear Debasree BasU, Your vaccination is scheduled for 20-05-2021 03:00PM–06:00PM at KERSAI PANCHAYAT KURDEG, Your booking reference ID is 82631958078900 and your 4 digit secret code for vaccination is 8900 – CoWIN.” The downloaded provisional certificate showed her as having been vaccinated with Covaxin on May 20 (batch number 37F21039A) by a Suchita Minj in the above said place in Jharkhand.

Debasree fears that she will now be denied the vaccine as she has already been registered as having received one. “The CoWIN app is showing that I have already been partially vaccinated, so I do not think I will be getting any vaccine at all.” She has sent mails with full details to the Health Ministry and the email address provided by Aarogya Setu, and has tried the helpline numbers but to no avail so far.

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