“I received an OTP from the CoWIN portal staying my number was used for registering and that I had received my first Covishield dose on June 12. Shocked, I tried to register again for a shot but could not do so despite trying several times,” said 21-year-old Shashank. He said that though four people can register using the same phone number, random people doing so using his phone number was concerning and indicated lapses in the system.
In another case, Ramya received an OTP for Aadhaar authentication and a message for registering for vaccination through her ID, when she had not even registered. “I couldn’t obtain the OTP for many days and then the vaccine stock was not available, so I decided to directly go for vaccination through camps organised by my resident’s welfare association. However, my ID and phone number being used for registration by someone else seems like data error or data theft, “ she said.
While Health Department officials said that online registrations on CoWIN by obtaining the OTP on mobile and Aadhaar is not under the State’s control, such instances have been brought to their notice and Central authorities should find a way to stop this.
Dr K Vinay Kumar, joint director (State Immunisation), Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said that the available database of healthcare workers and frontline workers were directly uploaded on CoWIN portal during early days of vaccination, which might have resulted in old phone numbers and data getting uploaded on the system. “The registration on CoWIN portal through workplaces could also be a possibility for such duplication. The possibility of data theft is rare but cannot be ruled out,” said Dr Kumar.