Picture used for representational purpose only
BENGALURU: With the focus on ramping up second dose Covid-19 vaccinations, the health and family welfare department has directed district officials to verify data and identify duplicate entries among those who have taken the first dose.
Of the total 2.2 crore people who have taken the first dose in the state, only 54 lakh have availed the second dose so far. However, health department officials say the number of people waiting for the second dose is inflated due to duplication in names and phone numbers of recipients. Due to technical glitches, many who took the second dose have been issued first dose vaccine certificates.
Arundhathi Chandrashekar, mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka, said it is estimated that 30-40% of the data pertaining to those who have received the first dose is duplicated, inflating the number.
The state is now making efforts to contact people waiting for the second dose either through phone or messages from both the state and Co-Win portal, she said. Karnataka Vaccination Support, a WhatsApp service run by StepOne, a private firm working with the state government, is also sending messages to people who are due for the second dose.
Errors in names, numbers
Officials said staff at vaccination centres are registering afresh many who are seeking the second dose due to errors in phone numbers or mistakes in spelling of their names when they received the first dose. This has resulted in an increase in the number of those who have taken the first dose and reduced the number who have received the second dose.
They say districts have been asked to deploy ASHA workers to verify the list of first dose recipients. Officials say the problem is not unique to Karnataka; multiple states have raised the matter with the central government.
“People may have given one phone number while registering for the first dose and another while taking the second dose. The website checks a person’s ID or phone number. If Co-Win, for whatever reason, does not accept the phone number or the ID, the person is registered afresh and added as a new beneficiary,” said Chandrashekar.
She added: “The districts will now have to tell us the exact extent of the data duplication. All first dose recipients have to be contacted and checked to find out how many of them have taken the second dose too.”
Not as high
Dr Srinivas G, Bengaluru Urban district health officer, said 20 out of every 1,000 persons who are considered to have taken only one dose would have got their second dose too. “This is an issue, but not as high as 30% in Bengaluru Urban at least. This is due to data entry errors in feeding mobile numbers or the ID of the vaccine beneficiaries,” said Dr Srinivasa.
Dr Srinivasa said that due to a mix-up of phone numbers and Co-Win IDs some of those who received the vaccine would not have got their first dose certificates. “Many such cases come to light only when beneficiaries come back for the second dose. They then find there is no data pertaining to their first dose in the system. This is largely mismanagement from data entry staff,” he said.
He also pointed out that there were technical glitches with the Co-Win portal too.
“In many cases, people have no proof of having received the first dose either in the form of SMS or certificates. When they turn up for the second dose, if the system does not validate their registration, they are registered afresh and treated as first dose recipients,” another district health officer said.
Officials said the Co-Win portal, under the ‘Raise an Issue’ link, now has the facility to merge two first dose certificates so that a final Covid vaccination certificate can be obtained.