Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya made the announcement on Twitter and released a number that citizens can message to book their slots.

Woman being vaccinated at a centreIMAGE FOR REPRESENTATION
Health COVID-19 Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 10:33

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday, August 24, announced that people can now book COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots through WhatsApp in addition to the CoWin portal. WhatsApp head Will Cathcart announced that the instant messaging platform has partnered with the Indian government to make booking vaccination slots easier. This will help fix glitches and connection issues while booking a slot on the CoWin portal. Hereā€™s how you can book your appointment:

> Click on this link: http://wa.me/919013151515 (You can also type out the link in your web browser) and click on the green ā€˜Go to chatā€™ or ā€˜Continue to chatā€™ option.

> Send the message 'Book Slot' to the chatbot. You will get an automated response that says, ā€œGenerating an OTP for the number xxxxxxxx. You will receive an OTP from Cowin.ā€

> Once you receive the OTP, reply with the six-digit OTP for verification.

> Once your number is successfully verified, you will receive a list of beneficiaries that have been registered on the CoWin portal with your mobile number. You can select a member to proceed.

> Follow the instructions that the chatbot will send and your appointment will be booked. The chatbot will also send you an appointment letter.

> To add beneficiaries, you can visit https://www.cowin.gov.in/

> You can also download your vaccination certificate by sending ā€˜Get Certificateā€™ to the chatbot and following the instructions. > You can also save the MyGov India helpline in your contacts: (+919013151515) and send WhatsApp messages to this number.

The Union government announced on Monday that with 56,10,116 doses administered in the country on August 23, the total vaccination count in India has crossed 58.82 crore. As on Day 220 of the vaccination drive (August 23), 39,62,091 beneficiaries were given the first dose and 16,48,025 received the second dose, according to a provisional report till 7 pm.

The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry underlined.

India added 25,467 new COVID-19 cases, while the active cases declined to 3,19,551, comprising 0.98 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday, August 24.

(With agency inputs)

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