Want to book Covid vaccine slot? Learn how to code!

The Story…

It’s almost over a month when Indian govt opened Covid vaccine registration for all adults, still most of the people are left out. As per Govt people guideline, one should register via CoWIN website or Arogya Setu app. Now, these website or apps comes with their own limitations like they do not offer content in all regional languages. On other hand, for majority of population the mobile or internet literacy is only limited to messaging or calling using WhatsApp, Facebook, twitter etc. which makes it further difficult for them to register & book slots. The one succeed had access to advanced technical resources. To add further, the imbalance between supply & demand. As per estimates less than 35% have registered till now, while less than 5% fully vaccinated & less than 20% got only one shot.

Vaccination % of Population

I am writing this based on self experience faced while booking vaccine slot for my family members in India. Though, they had access to internet, educated, and understanding about how to register, it was next to impossible for them (or in fact anyone) to book a slot. Along with them, I started monitoring CoWIN website for couple of days but no luck, and that is when I decided to code a simple web scraper script to look for selected PIN Codes and trigger alert on my brother’s cell phone (again, this requires a certain amount of luck to still get the OTP on time). Finally, my family was lucky enough to book the appointment.

Now, consider this situation with people who even do not have access to internet or do not know anything about mobile applications?

Here is the representational diagram of the working solution, and plan is to extend this work to help people in need around neighborhood of my hometown (@Hoshangabad, MP, India). In order to expand this, I will be working to get phone numbers & pin codes so that notification can be sent to the needy.

Representational image of solution

I know, questions might arise on how to keep these contact details etc. safe or whether this is best approach or not, but for now what matters is to get started and keep complex things for later, it could be anything from deploying this solution on my AWS secured account where I can leverage server less Lambda function, or windows task scheduler, or even using simple RPA based unattended BOT. I think, possibilities are limitless, and this is good enough to set the context, now its time to execute the plans so stay tuned…

An autodidact techie, working with major banks to modernize legacy mainframe based applications by refactoring them onto microservices and API driven solutions