India is turning its Covid-19 vaccination platform into an open-source technology for every country to use, adapt and utilize called the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network. This is likely the first time a country has made a software platform built by a government-sponsored initiative available to the whole of the world. Open Source means publicly accessible software that can be used, modified, and shared by anyone. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that it will soon be available to all countries.
PM Modi said there had been no pandemic like this in a hundred years and that no government, no matter how big, could handle a challenge like this in isolation, speaking at the CoWIN global conclave, when India presented the platform as a digital public benefit to the globe to combat Covid-19.
He also highlighted the need for technology to fight the pandemic, explaining that India has made its Aarogya Setu open-source tracking application for Covid as soon as it was “technically feasible.” He pointed out that the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app is a freely available package for developers and has been tested for a speed scale in the real world with about 200 million users. Through this platform, India has delivered over 350 million doses to its citizens.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 5, 2021
After being used in India, the Prime Minister assured the international audience that it was tested for speed and size in the real world. Given the necessity of vaccination, he stated India decided, as part of its vaccination programmes, to take a fully digital approach. The digital approach also assists in tracking vaccination usage and eliminating wastage.
While Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan remarked that the CoWIN platform is a worldwide technology instrument that can be used for the greater public good as the hour needs to speed up the pace of people vaccinated against COVID-19. In his remarks to the virtual Global CoWIN Conclave, he stated that India is on the verge of administering 36 crore Covid vaccine doses, a feat accomplished in less than six months since the inception of the vaccination campaign, and that “we are committed to inoculating our entire adult population by December.”
Vardhan emphasised that the fact that vaccinating everyone is important to controlling and ending the pandemic cannot be overstated, noting that shared challenges like the current public health crisis can only be handled via shared efforts and resources.
In order to reserve the vaccine slot, users need to register with their mobile/phone number and obtain a one-time password on the CoWIN website, before users search for centres using a Postal code or district name. The platform is an extension of the electronic vaccine intelligence network (eVIN) that is used to get feedback in real-time from the vaccination programmes.
Dignitaries from 142 countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, and Zambia, all attended the virtual conclave.