Karnataka: Duplicate entries inflate vaccination target list | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Karnataka’s vaccination target list is riddled with duplicate entries and as a result, officials are unable to determine the exact number of healthcare workers who have registered on the CoWIN portal. The health and family welfare department has been grappling with the problem for more than two weeks.
Initially, it had estimated that there could be 6.5 lakh to 7 lakh healthcare workers in the state. The number of registrations currently stands at 8.2 lakh. A potential upside to this situation is that the state’s actual vaccination coverage may be more than 50 per cent, considering that duplicate entries have inflated the list of beneficiaries, an official said. As on February 12, more than 4 lakh beneficiaries had been given their first dose.

Senior officials discussed the list issue during a videoconference on February 9. Health mission director Arundhathi Chandrashekar has asked all district health officers to archive the data of beneficiaries who are not eligible or traceable and those whose names are repeating. Dr Rajani BN, state deputy director (immunisation), said that around 10 per cent of the entries were duplicates. “We are in the process of removing them,” she added.
Another official said that the target list had all kinds of errors, resembling electoral rolls. The problem is linked to the glitches that CoWIN suffered in the run-up to the vaccination programme, when it took time to update the beneficiary list. Staff at many colleges uploaded the same list multiple times as there was no immediate acknowledgement of data input. “This occurred in medical and nursing colleges and paramedical institutions. Removing duplicate entries is not easy. We have to conduct individual searches using phone numbers. At many places, the phone number of the head of the institution is listed against the names of students,” the official said.
At some paramedical and nursing colleges, the list of healthcare workers and students was drawn up using the admission data. “Many students have passed out of college, but their names still appear on the portal. This has caused more confusion. In some other cases, students have not turned up for classes after the pandemic, yet they are listed as beneficiaries. All such entries have resulted in an inflated target list,” an official said.
It is not clear if there is a similar issue with the list of frontline workers.

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Sagar Biswas

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