The CoWIN app, which is being used to book appointments for vaccines, has been reconfigured to reflect the new protocol for Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine, the Government of India said on Sunday, 16 May.
The Centre recently changed the dosing interval to 12-16 weeks for Covishield, as against the previous protocol of 8-12 weeks – a decision which has been perceived by many as a result of the acute shortage of vaccines across the country.
But, what should you do if you have already booked a slot before12 weeks? Will you have to reschedule your appointment? Read on to know.
What has changed?
The Centre's vaccination app, CoWIN has introduced changes to the booking of online and offline appointments to reflect that vaccination will only be possible if the gap after the first Covishield dose for a beneficiary is at least 84 days (between 12 to 16 weeks).
Is this applicable for both Covishield and Covaxin?
No, this rule is only applicable for the second dosage of Covishield. This decision has been taken after several studies revealed that Covishield works better when the two doses are spaced further apart.
However, no change in the interval of Covaxin vaccine doses has been recommended by the Union Health Ministry.
I have already booked a slot for the second dosage of Covishield. Will I have to cancel the appointment?
The Health Ministry in a circular informed that appointments which are already booked online for the second dose of Covishield will remain valid and won't be cancelled by CoWIN, but the beneficiaries are advised to reschedule their appointments for a later date, 84 days after the date of the first dose of vaccination.
What happens if I don't reschedule the appointment?
The central government has reiterated to the states and UTs that the online appointments booked for the second dose of Covishield prior to this change of the interval between the two doses, must be honoured, and the field staff has been instructed that if such beneficiaries do come for vaccination, the second Covishield dose must be given and the beneficiaries must not be turned away.
However, it has been advised to reschedule the second appointment for a later date beyond the 84th day from the date of the first dose of vaccination, as studies have revealed that the Covishield vaccine is more efficient when spaced further apart.
How can you reschedule an appointment?
In case you wish to reschedule an appointment, here's what you can do:
Sign in to CoWIN website using your phone number and One Time Password (OTP).
After signing in, click on 'Reschedule' option and choose your preferred date and time.
Click 'Book' button and you will be redirected to 'Appointment Confirmation' page. Click on 'Confirm' button after verifying the details for final confirmation on the rescheduled booking.
Alternatively, you can call 211 helpline and reschedule your appointments. “You can reschedule your appointment at any location. Please bring the ID you need to verify your eligibility with you. You can also reschedule or cancel your appointment online. Follow the link in the reminder notice that you receive by text or email 48 hours before the scheduled appointment,” the CoWIN site states.
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