The Modi government recently began its third phase of vaccination, allowing people above the age of 18 to get the vaccine. To ease the process for vaccination and locate the nearest locations, the government of India has introduced a new feature that will help the citizens to find the Covid-19 vaccination centre nearest to them using the popular messaging app WhatsApp.
The WhatsApp chatbot- MyGov Corona Helpdesk helps people to find vaccination centres nearer to them. The service developed in collaboration with AI platform Haptik, was rolled out last year for sharing authentic information, is now being used to provide Covid-19 related helplines on WhatsApp for Indian users.
If one wishes to access this information, here is what he needs to do on WhatsApp.
How to locate nearest vaccination location on WhatsApp:
Any user who has installed the WhatsApp application can access the chatbot. The user has to save this number- +91 9013151515 and leave a text to the MyGov Corona Helpdesk.
The user can send texts like ‘Namaste’, ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ on this number which will further generate an automated response.
The message will have many options for users to select including some basic details, contact details, a link to the Aarogya Setup app, and language support changes among others. For Vaccination details – the user has to reply with a text ‘1’, to which the chatbox responds with seeking more response from the user.
The chatbot will give the user two options to select and this will include information related to centres along with authentic information related to Covid-19 vaccines.
If a user responds with option ‘1’, the chatbot will be asking for a 6 digit postal PIN code. Once the user enters his six-digit 6-digit postal PIN code, the chatbot will respond with a list of centres closest to the user and the date informing when vaccination will be available at that particular centre, along with slot details.
Here is a Covid-19 helpdesk’s response to a user who sought vaccination details in Chennai:
Here is one from New Delhi:
A user finding vaccination drive details in Bengaluru:
The WhatsApp chatbot will provide a link to the CoWIN portal where users can register themselves or sign in for vaccination. The users will have to book an appointment through the CoWIN portal only.