With COVID-19 vaccine slots drying up at the speed of light, various coders and website developers have taken it in their stride to facilitate easy booking. By Bayar Jain
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COVID-19 Vaccine Slots — post the opening of the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the country on May 1, government-run portal CoWIN witnessed a surge in people flocking to book a spot for immunisation. With technical snags on the first day and lack of vacant vaccination spots in the following days, some websites took the onus of easing booking. These websites work in various ways to keep an eye out for an empty COVID-19 vaccine slot so one can score a spot hassle-free.
Launched by HealthifyMe, an Indian digital health and wellness platform, VaccinateMe helps hunt for vacant spots based on pin code, district, and age. One can even key in their vaccine preference while hunting through the portal. Moreover, if one fails to find a vacant spot at the time of searching, VaccinateMe allows everyone to sign up for email or WhatsApp notifications to be alerted when a space opens up.
Using the power of secure messaging app, Telegram, Under45—created by programmer Berty Thomas—allows individuals between the ages 18 to 45 to get alerts on available slots in their respective districts. Being entirely individual-led, this self-developed portal is constantly upgrading to include more channels catering to various regions. Plus, if a chosen district is not listed, one can simply tweet to Thomas here.
Leveraging CoWIN’s open-source code, FindSlot has increasingly become the country’s ‘go-to’ for information on available vaccination slots. When on this website, one can segregate the search based on city, district, or pin code. One can even key in their age bracket to find the earliest possible date.
GetJab works on email-based notifications. However, the same is currently only available for people aged 18 to 45—the largest segment in the country by number. As per the official website, the developers hope to roll out SMS-based alerts in the coming few days.
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A new entrant as far as COVID-19 vaccination trackers are concerned, the Noida-based e-commerce payment system has rolled out this function across its mobile apps. On opening the Paytm app on the phone, one can scroll down to the Mini App store, and register on the Vaccine Finder section. Split between pin code and district, one can not only check availability but also set up notifications which ping on the device as and when an opening is made.
A unique open-source code, Labnol is developed by a self-proclaimed computer nerd, Amit Agarwal. Unlike the other trackers, this notifier uses Google Sheets to curate the database and sends alerts via email. The desktop-only curator allows for multi-location alerts, which means one can key in many pin codes at a time to get notifications for various cities at once. Moreover, one can even choose the age groups for which the slots are being sought, and the frequency of alerts (ranging from once a day to every 15 minutes).
Editor’s Note: Keeping the current situation of the pandemic in mind, T+L India recommends every reader to stay safe, and take all government-regulated precautions in case travel at this time is absolutely necessary. Please follow our stories on #IndiaFightsCorona for all the latest travel guidelines.
Related: COVID-19 Vaccination: Dos And Don’ts