India has come across several stories of technical and logistic faults on the CoWIN website. Now, the district of Cachar has two similar stories to narrate. The first complaint has come from a man named Pulok Banik, who got his family, vaccinated with the first jab of Covaxin on 24th April, 2021 at Sonai BPHC Vaccination Centre, and has been refused the second dose at Harinagar BPHC Vaccination Centre, as their database show that the family members have taken Covishield vaccine, instead of Covaxin, as their first dose. The second incident is about a man from Cachar, who wanted to keep himself anonymous. He received the first dose of Covaxin vaccine at Udharbond BPHC Vaccination Centre on 22nd April, 2021, and now the CoWIN website doesn't have his record as a beneficiary of the first dose; consequently, he is not receiving the message from the District Administration of Cachar, which is required to take the second dose of Covaxin. It should be mentioned here that the Cachar Administration had announced few days back, that people, who had received their first dose of Covaxin before 7th April, 2021, may come to the same vaccination centre to receive the second dose, only on receiving a message from the Administration about the same.
Pulok Banik visited the Sonai BPHC vaccination centre on 24th April, 2021, with two of his family members, Arun Banik (63) and Suniti Banik (57) and an acquaintance, Narayan Roy (51) to get them administered with their first dose of COVID vaccine. All three of them, as claimed by Banik, received the first dose of Covaxin. The certificate of the three beneficiaries act as an evidence to support the claim. In addition, Banik has receipts, that he had received from the vaccination centre on the day of vaccination, which have Covaxin written on them. Besides, the registered mobile number received three messages, that clearly mention the date of vaccination as 24th April, 2021, and the name of the vaccine as Covaxin. Despite having all the evidences to support his claim, Banik could not get his family and the acquaintance, vaccinated with the second dose of Covaxin, when he visited Harinagar BPHC, as the database, present with the officials at the vaccination centre, shows that Arun Banik, Suniti Banik and Narayan Roy had taken Covishield on 24th April, 2021.
Banik then reached out to an official at Sonai BPHC vaccination centre, who agreed that the database is showing an incorrect data, as on downloading the certificates of the beneficiaries, they clearly mention Covaxin. When The News Core reached out to the official, he said, "The three beneficiaries had taken vaccine at our centre on 24th April, 2021. On that day, the centre was supposed to administer 50 doses each of Covishield and Covaxin. However, as the centre had no Covishield vaccine on that day, we reached out the Administration and they permitted us to administer 100 doses of Covaxin. Thus, no Covishield vaccine was administered on that day, and therefore, there was no chance that the three beneficiaries could recieve doses of Covishield vaccine." The official added, "Every centre maintains a record book or a register, in hard copy, and an official writes down the name, contact number, and the vaccine recieved, for each beneficiary. This register too shows that the individuals have taken Covaxin. In fact, the record was also uploaded from the Covaxin ID."
The official further added, "When the beneficiary called me few days back, I used his registered mobile and checked to find an astonishing record. The CoWIN website shows the beneficiaries as recipients of the Covishield vaccine; however, on downloading the certificate, it shows Covaxin. As a matter of fact, even in our records, their name is registered on the Covaxin portal." The official asserted that, they have all the records that clearly prove that the beneficiaries have received Covaxin and not Covishield. The official then said, "I reached out to the admin of CoWIN website for Cachar District and informed the official about the technical fault. He agreed that it is an issue of the website. I suggest that writing a letter to the District Immunization Officer may solve the problem, as we are officials of the blocks, and in our capacity, we can do nothing more than checking and verifying the records of the beneficiaries."
Another man, who has demanded to keep his name off the record, visited the Udharbond BPHC vaccination centre on 22nd April, 2021, to get administered with his first dose of Covaxin. The man, as claimed by him, received a receipt, that has his name mentioned on it, in addition to a negative COVID test statament and the name of the vaccine as Covaxin. "The CoWIN portal then didn't have my record. I decided to not get tensed with the fact and wait till my time for the second jab gets nearer, as I already had the receipt as an evidence", said the man. It should be mentioned here that the Cachar Administration issued a press statement on June 11, announcing that those who had taken the first dose of Covaxin, may take the second dose at the same vaccination centre, only on recieving a message on their registered mobile number. The man added, "I do not have my name registered on the CoWIN website. Consequently, I am not receiving any message from the District Administration to take my second jab." Considering that the man took his first jab on 22nd April 2021, it has been 53 days and he is yet to receive the second dose. The prescribed period between two doses of Covaxin, as mentioned earlier, is 28-42 days.
The fates of these people is required to be answered by the authorities. While Pulok Banik's mother, Suniti Banik is a patient of diabetes, and thus vulnerable to COVID-19, the other person, who has chosen to stay anonymous, is a man aged above 45, and thus should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Although, the Cachar Administration is working hard to ensure complete vaccination, across population, in the district, such technical lapses leave major loopholes, that may nullify the efforts of the Administration to ensure an empowered district against COVID. Thus, we request Cachar Administration to look into the matter and solve the issue as soon as possible as the beneficiaries with such complaints, have already crossed the deadline for their second jabs.