On 1 May, the central government started the third leg of its inoculation drive against COVID-19, in which all citizens over the age of 18 can register themselves to get vaccinated. However, with a huge population of the country belonging to this age bracket, this leg of the vaccination drive isn't going as smoothly as one would've hoped. Five days into the drive, people are still struggling to secure a slot for their first dose of the vaccine. In some cities, the situation is much worse than in others.
However, bots are proving to be an effective solution to this problem.
There are several bot services being offered right now to help people book their vaccination. They sort out information such as the next available slot or the nearest vaccination centre. These services notify users via text, messengers or email.
Notably, these bots merely provide information on availability of a slot or a vaccination centre near you, but bookings will still have to be manually done by a user via the CoWIN portal (>How to book vaccination appointment via CoWIN).
Below is a list of some of the COVID-19 vaccine-tracking bots available right now:
The GetJab bot asks a user to share their name, email address and district. As soon as a vaccination slot opens up in the user's district, the bot notifies them via email to book their appointment.
This vaccination centre-locator bot lets you search centres by district or PIN code. It lets you apply filters such as age group, paid or free vaccine, and pick between centres administering Covishield or Covaxin.
COVID-19 vaccine tracker for India
The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker for India is a Google Sheet-based open-source vaccine tracker that lists out the nearest vaccination slot availability, and users are notified via email.
Another one is >Under45.in, which works in much the same way as the other bots, but this one sends district-specific alerts via Telegram.
FindSlot is a website that lets you look for vaccination slots on CoWIN by city, PIN code or district. It sorts out the information and shows you the list of vaccination centres around you that still have available slots.
Paytm COVID-19 vaccine finder
Paytm has announced a COVID-19 vaccine finder, which can help users check real-time availability of vaccine slot and receive alerts via Paytm Chats. Paytm says that the finder currently works in 780 districts in India.
Do note, all these bots will only notify you about the availability of slots and vaccination centres around you; you still need to head to the CoWIN portal and book your slot manually.