The government extended the Covid-19 vaccination drive to a larger and younger population group by opening up registrations on the Co-WIN platform to those in the 18-44 age bracket.
By the end of the day, the number of registrations touched almost 1.33 crore.
Given the scale of the rationed vaccination — an average of 25-30 lakh doses a day — the first day registration of about 1.33 crore points to the daunting task the government faces in the coming weeks.
Huge pressure is expected since many young men and women will seek vaccination and want to get back to work at the earliest. Moreover, the large number of daily deaths has done away with whatever little vaccine hesitancy existed amongst people, said a doctor in AIIMS, who did not wish to be named.
India has 59.46 crore people in the 18-44 age group.
When the platform was opened on March 1 for those over 60 years, 25 lakh beneficiaries had registered on Day 1. Subsequently, when those over 45 were allowed to register on April 1, there were many who walked in for vaccination without necessarily first registering themselves on Co-WIN.
So far, there have been 14.80 crore registrations on Co-WIN, of which only 2.91 crore were made online; a bulk of them 9.33 crore walked in at centres and registered themselves before vaccination. As many as 2.55 crore registrations are of health care and frontline workers, who were prioritised for vaccination beginning January 16 and February 1, respectively.