The RTI may also reveal the exact number of badges issued across India, although the government continues to push for vaccine registrations to be linked to aadhaar.

You read it here first: Over 11 million Unique Health IDs have been created through the CoWIN platform as part of the government’s National Digital Health Mission, the Department of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) announced earlier this week in response to an RTI application submitted by MediaNama.

The ministry also said no agencies have been hired to adapt, implement and roll out CoWIN internationally. The agency involvement process for the international roll-out of CoWIN began in July when the National Health Authority announced earlier this month that it had shortlisted six agencies. However, the process does not seem to be over yet.

As for health card issuance, the government has been criticized for enrolling people in NDHM without informed consent through Aadhaar-enabled vaccine registrations. It has been reported that people mistakenly believed that Aadhaar was required for CoWIN authentication and thus unknowingly signed up for UHIDs.

The exact number of health IDs

While the MoHFW had previously listed a breakdown of the 11 lakh UHIDs issued in 6 Union Territories as part of its pilot project, MediaNama’s RTI may indicate the number of all UHIDs issued in India, including those created during the pilot project.

In its response, the MoHFW stated that by August 16, 5/11, 42,794 Unique Health IDs had been created via the Co-WIN platform, which was launched in December 2020 for the administration and management of COVID-19 vaccines. However, it is also noted that this was “in addition” to the 12.26.719 health cards issued in 6 Union territories as part of the NDHM pilot project.

Despite MediaNama’s direct request to provide the total number of health IDs issued since the NDHM was launched in August 2020, the ministry has not provided an exact number. However, combining the numbers provided results in a total number of issued health IDs of 11.17.69.513.

Dissolution of the UHIDs made available in Parliament

According to the ministry’s revelations in parliament, by July 19, 2021, 11,68,226 health IDs had been created in the 6 UTs of the pilot. It had also provided a breakdown of the IDs that were in each UT

  • Andaman & Nicobar Islands (2.14.297)
  • Lakshadweep (51,745)
  • Ladakh (76,968)
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (1.39.449)
  • Pondicherry (4,91,903)
  • Chandigarh (1.93.864)

“No agencies empaneled” for the international roll-out of CoWIN

The MoHFW also informed MediaNama that the ministry has not yet commissioned any agencies to support the process of the international introduction of CoWIN.

Earlier this month, MediaNama reported that the MoHFW’s National Health Authority had shortlisted 6 IT companies to enable the adaptation, implementation and introduction of CoWIN. These companies – Deloitte, PWC, KPMG, NSDL, TCS and Trigyn-Technologie – should be trained and evaluated. The training should be completed by August 6th.

Government is pushing for vaccination registrations to be linked to Aadhaar

According to an SOP published by MoHFW, one of the seven is currently required Photo ID – Aadhaar, PAN card, driver’s license, passport, voter ID, NPR smart card, and photo pension document – are required to confirm eligibility and identity of the beneficiary. However, the association of vaccination certificates and records with a unique health ID generated after vaccine registration by Aadhaar has led the government to encourage the use of Aadhaar for vaccination registrations. As mentioned in some cases, it has also led people to mistakenly believe that aadhaar-based authentication is mandatory in order to get vaccinated.

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