India has now launched vaccination against coronavirus for everyone between 18 and 44 years of age. While several states are offering free vaccines, getting an appointment is not a piece of cake. The slots are filling up fast and booking appointments manually though CoWIN portal is a slow and cumbersome process. This is due to a lot of traffic on the site. Fortunately, a large number of developers are creating websites and apps to help people locate the nearest hospitals offering Covid vaccinations and find slots in a faster and easier manner. These sites send alerts, use email and chat services to let people know when the next vaccine appointment is available at their nearest location. So, here are 6 online tools to find the nearest vaccination centres. Do keep in mind that you will eventually have to use CoWIN portal to book an appointment.
1. WhatsApp MyGov Corona Helpdesk
This is one of the simplest ways to locate the nearest vaccine centres and their availability in India. WhatsApp MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot was launched in March 2020. To find a vaccine centre just save the number 9013151515 on your iOS or Android smartphone. Next, click on the link: wa.me/919013151515. And use the chatbox through Whatsapp Web or Desktop. Once the MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot is launched, Whatsapp users must send ‘hi’ or ‘hello.’ After a while, an automated response will guide users to choose an option for COVID-related information. This information is regarding the nearest vaccine centre. Whatsapp users can also send the text Hindi or हिंदी to chat with the chatbot in Hindi.
The page under45.in will assist people aged 18 to 44 to locate open vaccination slots nearby. Programmer Berty Thomas came up with this website. People can head to this page. Next, enter their state and district to find slots in the nearest location. You can also get district-specific alerts on Telegram. These alerts shall notify users when the vaccine is available in their specific areas. Berty Thomas’ Twitter thread has the links to enable these alerts. The programmer has revealed that he is updating this thread with more districts across India.
FindSlot.in is another website that assists you to quickly navigate through Covid appointment bookings. It uses CoWIN open API to let people seek vaccine centres according to their city or PIN Code or by entering their state and district to book the nearest centre for a covid vaccine. Just like other resources, FindSlot only helps you locate vaccine slots. But you can’t book for it on the site. As noted on the site, “This web app uses CoWin open API to make it easy for you to find slots. Availability changes in real-time. So book your slot ASAP using https://selfregistration.cowin.gov.in.”
ISB alumni Shyam Sunder and his friends created a website called getjab.in This helps users get email alerts about vaccination slots open, nearby. This website delivers alerts to anyone who signs up and asks for notifications on their district. All you need to do is enter your name, district and email ID. You then receive an email about when the slot is available. The creators also included a note on the website that informs that the details are only stored to customise the email. Currently, the emails have been paused due to glitches and bugs. But it shall be operational again soon. So watch out for this space.
5. COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker for India
Amit Agarwal has developed an open-source vaccine tracker. This will monitor the nearest vaccine appointment availability. And you will receive email alerts as slots become available. First, visit the Google Sheet and ‘Make A Copy’ of this in your Google Drive Select Vaccine Tracker in the menu. Select Enable. Complete the Sign-In process and click on Go to Vaccine Alerts. Enter your Pincode, age eligibility and click on the ‘Create Email Alert’ button. The Google Sheet will monitor this daily and you will receive an email at 8 am every day indicating the availability of vaccine appointments in your specific areas.
6. Facebook Vaccine Finder Tool
Last but not the least, Facebook has rolled out a vaccine finder tool in partnership with the Indian government. Visit the Facebook India mobile app to get access to the vaccine finder tool. The vaccine tracker tool is available in 17 languages. It shall help users find the nearest vaccine centre location and their operational hours as shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). You can also find out the walk-in options for people above the age of 45 years. And also get a link to register on the Co-Win website and schedule vaccination appointments too. COVID-19 Information Centre tool is also accessible for users. This will assist people to locate nearby places to get the jab.
These online tools will help you locate the nearest vaccine centre and also send you email and other alerts on available slots. Make sure you keep these in mind. And get your vaccinated against Covid soon!