In news that will be particularly beneficial to employers, clients and service providers, it will now be possible to know a person’s COVID vaccination status via the CoWIN app.
On Friday, the Health Ministry introduced an update on the CoWIN platform called the Know Your Customer’s/Client’s Vaccination Status (KYC-VS).
A user will have to enter their mobile number and name, after which they will get an OTP to enter. In return, CoWIN – which was so far being used to book vaccination appointments and download digital vaccination certificates – will send a response to the verifying entity on the individual’s status of vaccination. It will state whether the person is not vaccinated, or partially vaccinated, or fully vaccinated. This response will be digitally signed and can be shared with the verifying entity immediately.
“As socio-economic activities are being gradually revived while maintaining everyone’s safety, there is a need for a way to digitally convey the status of individuals’ vaccination to entities with whom they may be engaging with for any or all reasons, as employees, passengers, residents,” the health ministry said in a release.
The Aadhaar-like feature will help employers resume work-from-office policies, or the railways or airports wanting to know the vaccination status of travellers, or hotels looking into the vaccination status of residents.
The health ministry has said the new feature is both consent-based and privacy-preserving. “A real-life example could be when at the time of booking a railway ticket, an individual will input the necessary details for buying the ticket and if required, the concerned entity will also get the vaccination status in the same transaction, with the due consent of the individual,” it stated.
CoWIN currently provides a digitally verifiable and shareable certificate as proof of vaccination, but the new API will help an entity know whether an individual has been vaccinated or not without seeing the certificate in full.
The CoWIN team has prepared a webpage with the API, which may be embedded in any system.