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Find nearest Covid vaccination centre on MyGov WhatsApp chatbot

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Find nearest Covid vaccination centre on MyGov WhatsApp chatbot

Lucknow: As the Government of India has extended its Covid-19 vaccination reach from May 1 to inoculate all falling under 18-45 years of age bracket from May 1, the messaging giant, WhatsApp, has also came forward to help people in these tough times by enabling its users find the Covid-19 vaccination centre nearest to them. For this, the Facebook owned app has introduced a new feature, chatbot, developed in collaboration with several health partners that will operate this, and some more of such helplines.

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The development was shared recently by WhatsApp head Will Cathcart through a tweet. Expressing concern over the tough times being faced in India, Cathcart announced WhatsApp’s ongoing efforts to support Covid-19 related helplines on WhatsApp for its users.

The functionality has been added under WhatsApp’s MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot. Notably, the chatbot was launched early last year as the world faced the Covid-19 pandemic for the first time. Over time, the chat app has added to its functions, which now includes information on the nearest Covid-19 vaccination centre.

Here is how you can use WhatsApp Chatbot:

-Save official Government of India’s Corona Helpdesk number +91 9013151515 to your phone contact list.

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-Start a chat with the number on WhatsApp by simply sending Hi, Hello or Namaste.

-You will be greeted with an automated response. The message will contain emergency contacts, a link to the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app, as well as a range of questions that you might have.

-Simply respond with your choice on the chat, and you will be directed further. The vaccination centre and other vaccine-related information is option 1 as of now.

To not, there is a slight lag of up to 1 minute in receiving the automated responses from the app. So, do not be disappointed if you do not get a response right away.

As India become second worst to nation in the world with more than 2 lakh deaths, the only respite apart from lockdown against the novel disease is vaccination. Keeping this in mind, the government kicked off phase 3 of its Covid-19 vaccination drive for citizens between the age of 18 and 44 years on May 1, 2021. Prior to this, the vaccination process was live for everyone above the age of 45 years.

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To help people find nearest vaccination centre, here comes WhatsApp’s chatbot and other portals like the CoWIN portal, Aarogya Setu app, Google Maps and, of course, most common way, Google Search.

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