In view of complaints by several users that they received notification of vaccination dose administered to them irrespective of missing their appointments made on CoWIN, the Union Health Ministry has introduced a new four-digit security code feature in the CoWIN portal.

The “4 digit security code” to minimise errors for online bookings/appointments operational from 8 May. The step was taken after it came to notice that some citizens, who had booked their appointment for Covid-19 vaccination through the CoWIN portal but did not actually go for vaccination on the scheduled date, received an SMS notification saying that a vaccine dose has been administered to them. 

“Upon examination, it has been found to occur largely on account of the vaccinator wrongly marking the citizen as vaccinated, an instance of data entry error by the vaccinator,” the Health Ministry stated.

“To minimise such errors and the subsequent inconvenience caused to the citizens, the CoWIN system is introducing a new feature of four-digit security code in the CoWIN application from 8 May. Now, after verification, if the beneficiary has been found as eligible, before administering the vaccine dose, the verifier/vaccinator will ask the beneficiary about his/her four-digit code and then enter the same in the CoWIN system to correctly record the vaccination status,” it added.

The Health Ministry further said, “This new feature will be applicable only for citizens who have done an online booking for a vaccination slot. The four-digit security code will be printed in the appointment acknowledgement slip and will not be known to the vaccinator. The four-digit code will also be sent in the confirmation SMS sent to the beneficiary after successful booking of appointment. The appointment acknowledgement slip can also be saved and shown from the mobile.”

“This will ensure that, for such citizens who have booked an online appointment, the data entries regarding vaccination status of a citizen are recorded correctly. It is only for those who book online appointment and avail the services at the centre where they have booked the appointment. This will also reduce the opportunities of impersonation and wrongful use of flexibilities provided in CoWIN for facilitating vaccination coverage,” it added.