A new feature introduced on CoWIN now enables employers and enterprises such as airlines, railways and hotels to check the vaccination status of their staff or customers.
The health ministry said that there was a need to enable an Aadhaar-like authentication service for the status of vaccination through Co-WIN. The health ministry said in a statement, “As the socio-economic activities are being gradually revived while maintaining everyone’s safety, there is a need for a way to digitally convey the status of individuals’ vaccination to entities with whom they may be engaging with…”
This new feature or the application programming interface (API) is being called KYC-VS - Know Your Customer/Client’s Vaccination Status.
The government has stressed that the new system is consent based and preserves privacy. This service, government has said can be used by any service provider, private or public, for whom verifying an individual’s vaccination status is critical for facilitating a service requested.
For instance, at the time of booking a railway ticket, besides sharing all the necessary details, the concerned entity can also get the vaccination status in the same transaction, with the due consent of the individual.
To use this feature, an individual would need to enter their mobile number and name. Thereafter, they will get an OTP which they have to enter. Co-WIN will then send a response to the verifying entity on the individual’s status of vaccination. If the person is not vaccinated, the response would read the number zero. And similarly, one if the person has got one dose and 2 if both doses have been given.
The health ministry said that the feature may be useful for airlines who may want to get the status of vaccination of the passengers booking their flight tickets, or airports may only want to allow vaccinated passengers to pass through. Hotels too might may want to know the vaccination status of the guests at the time they are checking into the hotel, or at the time of making online bookings.
Besides, in order to facilitate quick integration and adoption, a webpage with the API - prepared by CoWIN team, may be embedded in any system. “This will allow for a seamless integration with any system in no time,” the health ministry said.