New Delhi: Amid the ongoing battle against the deadly Coronavirus, there is some good news for millions of Indians waiting to get vaccinated. Yes, they can now book slots for COVID-19 vaccination using WhatsApp.
On its part, short-messaging service WhatsApp has also announced that the MyGov Corona Helpdesk on its platform will now allow users to locate their nearest vaccination centre and book their vaccine appointments.
"Paving a new era of citizen convenience. Now, book COVID-19 vaccine slots easily on your phone within minutes," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Paving a new era of citizen convenience.
Now, book #COVID19 vaccine slots easily on your phone within minutes.
Send ‘Book Slot’ to MyGovIndia Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp
Follow the steps
Book today: https://t.co/HHgtl990bb
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) August 24, 2021
On August 5, MyGov and WhatsApp had introduced the ability for users to download vaccine certificates from the chatbot; and so far, over 32 lakh certificates have been downloaded by users across the country.
"The MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp, since its launch in March 2020, has emerged as one of the most authentic sources of COVID-related information during the pandemic and served as a critical instrument in fighting the public-health crisis for over 41 million users across India," it added.
MyGov CEO Abhishek Singh said the MyGov Corona Helpdesk has been a path-breaking technological solution that benefited millions of citizens across the nation.
"Since its launch, MyGov Corona Helpdesk, enabled with support from Haptik and Turn.Io, has evolved into a go-to platform that is not only helping citizens with authentic Corona-related information but is now also aiding them in the process of vaccine booking as also finding vaccination centers and slots and downloading vaccination certificates," he added.
It is enabling digital inclusion in the true sense as most people find the AI-based interface enabled on WhatsApp easier to navigate, he further said.
"Our collaboration has unlocked technology's potential to extend benefits to citizens at scale. Judging by the large numbers of people who have placed their trust in the MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot and availed themselves of the benefits, this is an important step in our journey to become a digitally empowered country.
“As a platform, we are fully committed to supporting our Government's efforts to help fight this pandemic,” WhatsApp Public Policy Director Shivnath Thukral said.
To contact MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot, citizens can save the WhatsApp number +91 9013151515 on their phones; start a chat by typing ‘Book Slot’ and send it to the number. This will generate a six-digit one-time password on the respective mobile phone number.
Users then choose a preferred date and location, based on the Pincode and vaccine type. All users can follow this sequence to get a confirmation of their centre and the day of their vaccine appointment.