As Covid-19 vaccine registration for all Indians above the age of 18 was opened yesterday, a total of 1.23 crore individuals signed up for receiving the vaccinations. Appointments are not being fixed yet, as a majority of states will receive the vaccines for inoculating populations above the age of 18 only after May 15-20. This, however, did not discourage Indians from swarming to the CoWin and Aarogya Setu portals for registering themselves as beneficiaries. Due to the large number of people logging in to the CoWin app and site, the servers of the portal crashed. While this made many impatient, the underlying message is that India’s fight against Covid-19 is entering a decisive and final phase.
The registration for vaccination for those between 18-45 years old opened up on Wednesday, at 4 p.m. and as expected, servers of the CoWin app and website, UMANG app and Aarogya Setu app crashed. After some time, the Aarogya Setu app and CoWin site began functioning smoothly, although the CoWin app continued to give users a tough time. The crash indicated that the CoWin servers were not optimised to handle large volumes of concurrent users – a problem that can and was easily fixed.
Every technology has teething issues but there are lessons in failure and underlying messages which one can always learn from. And the message from yesterday’s crash is beautiful. The importance and absolute necessity of vaccinating oneself against Covid-19 as soon as possible have reached most of the people despite malicious anti-vaccine propaganda by the opposition parties and India’s left-liberal cabal. It simply shows that people are ready to get vaccinated despite what an unscientific section of society has to say about the vaccines.
The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday clarified that the media reports that the server had crashed “are incorrect and are without any basis”. The Ministry said that it witnessed more than 80 lakh people registered themselves on the portal, with 3 hours from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Wednesday. It added that the portal received 383 million API hits, initially as high as 2.7 million hits per minute and a total of 1.45 crore SMSs have been successfully delivered. Why the Health Ministry would seek to deny a crash, when millions of Indians faced persisting issues during registration on Tuesday is not yet known.
However, the simple fact that the servers of CoWin crashed is reason enough for Indians to feel a tad bit optimistic about the future. The importance of vaccination has been understood by Indians, most importantly by those who are in the 18-44 age bracket. The vaccination of India’s youth and working population, which by all estimates, is the most exposed to the virus, will help alleviate India’s Covid-19 woes soon. The enthusiasm to vaccinate oneself against Covid-19 must be kept intact until they complete their two-dose vaccine regime. On the part of the state governments and vaccine manufacturers, they must make it a point to capitalise on this enthusiasm and vaccinate maximum people as soon as possible. No other tool except vaccines will help India overcome the pandemic once and for all.