COVID-19 vaccination drive is in its third phase in India and people getting their shots are now receiving calls for a government survey to confirm if they have indeed been vaccinated. The calls are being routed through 1921 that the Ministry of Health had introduced in April last year as a number for COVID-19 related surveys. The ministry had then informed citizens that they might get a call from this number for COVID-19 related questions and that they should participate in “good measure” to enable “proper feedback.”
The survey calls — that one of our colleagues received recently — are to confirm if people who had sought an appointment via the CoWIN portal have received their COVID-19 vaccination. This comes after a number of users, who had booked appointments via the CoWIN portal but could not keep it, complained about getting an SMS saying that they had received their COVID-19 vaccine dose. To minimise errors, the government also recently introduced a four-digit security code — unique to each registered member that can be found in their CoWIN accounts — that the vaccinators would use to correctly record the vaccination status of beneficiaries.
Last year, the health ministry circulated a notice to inform citizens that the COVID-19 related telesurveys being conducted though the number 1921 were genuine and initiated by the government. It had also sought to warn users against entertaining similar survey calls from pranksters from any other number except 1921. The notice had requested states and union territories to inform citizens of this exercise undertaken by the Centre.
“People are informed that it is a genuine survey and are requested to participate in good measure when a call comes in from 1921 to enable proper feedback of the prevalence and distribution of Covid symptoms,” the notice said.